So it’s Friday, which in itself is just a breathe-a-sigh-of-relief day by nature.
But it’s raining and grey. And the tone of this blog may carry a bit of that melancholy with it. But that’s where I am today. This, also, is part of the journey….. <3
In my quiet time, the Scripture reading from the plan I am using this year was 1 Thessalonians 1 and 2.
The exact passages we have been covering in Children of the Day by Beth Moore.
God’s word surely is alive…surely is active…and surely is dividing between the soul and the spirit.
That dividing; that separating what is soul-ish in me from what is spiritual is a painful process.
When Paul effuses his joy over the assurance that he and his co-workers have not labored in vain…well…this morning I am aching over some places where I can not say the same.
For example, I think of one of the many part time jobs I held.
This one was one I truly felt was a call from God. It was one that I poured into spiritually, creatively, emotionally and physically.
Everything about it smacked of ‘ordained by God’.
Except the outcome.
I am left with a sense of complete failure from all the effort given.
I am left with deep woundings and regrets and questions.
Was I in God’s will while I was there? Yes
Did I seek His wisdom and counsel every single moment of every single day? Yes
Did I give my all for Him and for His glory? Yes
Did I operate in His strength and not my own? Yes
Was it fulfilling and uplifting and edifying and did I walk away with a sense that I had accomplished Kingdom work? No.
Quite the opposite.
As time passes, I feel more and more like it was all in vain and in fact, I pray, it didn’t do damage to anyone….even while knowing it damaged me.
What do I do with that?
Bewildered, I continue to lay down the time and heart invested. I continue to ask Him to heal the places in me that were shattered. I pray for seeds sown, perhaps seeds watered, even though it seems to have been nothing but a dry and barren desert.
I pray for His conviction of anything from the experience that I have deceived myself about so that I can confess it and receive forgiveness.
And I surrender.
I surrender the memories and the hurt and the questions.
I surrender the sense of complete and utter failure.
I trust in His love and His promises to use all things for good…
Beth says in this study that the times we suffer this kind of laboring in vain make the times our labor bears fruit so much sweeter.
On a rainy Friday, I must admit…I would be quite happy to have all my labor NOT be in vain….
Just being real….
I hope for each of you that you are like Paul today. I hope that you are celebrating the evidence of the fruit of labors.
But if this sense of laboring in vain hits home, please know…I am praying for you to sense the comfort and love of Him who gave ALL for you and for me.
Bless you today as you give your ALL for Him. Because your labor given in praise and thanksgiving to Him will never be in vain, no matter what it looks like