Conversations

A Great Work

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap,
if we do not give up.
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Galatians 6:9-10

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” or in Christian lingo “What is your ‘calling’?” Part of the reason I’ve struggled with this question is that so many things held my interest, perhaps because there didn’t seem to be any one thing that I felt passionate about. Well into my 30’s I was still asking the question of myself “Why am I here? What am I supposed to do? What is my purpose and what does God want to use me for?” I’ve heard messages about “God’s call” and been compelled time and time again to dig out of myself the answers to these questions. I’ve taken personality tests and tests to determine my “spiritual gifts”. I’ve read devotionals that focused on what God’s Word says I should do to determine His “call on my life”. While all of these tools have been helpful to some degree, nothing seemed to fully answer these questions for me.

Not long ago I was talking with a friend and he asked me that infamous question about what brings a feeling of fulfillment to me. Without pausing to think about it, I told him. I was actually a bit surprised at myself! I even stated that was probably the first time in my life I had ever been able to clearly identify what God’s fulfilling purpose for me is. I realized that the reason I was able to articulate this was because my Heavenly Father had been graciously bringing me through understanding who He is in this area of my life and who I am because of Him. Now, this is not to say I don’t ever still have moments of uncertainty. There are times I wonder if I’m just following my own path and if what I’m doing is even what He wants of me.

“I don’t have anything all that great to give. My contributions are so insignificant, especially compared to that person over there. How is doing this ever going to help anyone? How could God ever use this to further His kingdom and bring Him glory?”

The Father continues to remind me “Where you are and what you have learned, I have brought you to and taught you. You may not see how these things could be so great, but your vision is limited. I see not only what is right now, but I see far into what is to come and anything that you do with me, is good. Anything you do because of me, is good. Don’t give up! Don’t stop now. I’ll teach you the next step just like each one before, and I’ll help you. I’ll make it all good.”

I wonder as I listen to His reassuring voice: what is it that keeps me from “doing good”? Even more specifically, what holds me back from doing the good things that my Father has equipped me to do and has asked me to do?

One reason that comes to mind is fatigue.

“I’m so tired. It is easier and feels better right now to just keep to myself. Besides, I’ve done a lot of trying and its a lot of work and I just don’t know if its even worth it. And aren’t we supposed to rest from work? I’ve been at my job all week, not to mention all the other things I’ve been doing after work, I deserve a break so I think I’ll just fall asleep watching t.v.”

I get tired just thinking about all the times I’ve failed or all that hasn’t been done. I get overwhelmed, and that leads to stress and that stress wears me out. There are the piles of laundry yet to be done (yes that is more than one pile of laundry!), and dishes that have to be washed (seriously, if you could see my sinks!), and food to be made, and taking care of my health, and serving in ministries, and learning the next thing, and… and… and … whew! I need to sit down.

But all this stuff wears me out just thinking about it because I’m trying to do it all by myself. My Father never asked me to do anything without His help. He’s not the one heaping all this on me. He never expected me to make “the call” happen all at once or to succeed over night. He whispers to my heart

“Just focus on one thing at a time. And daughter, keep your eyes on me as we move forward together. Stay with me and I will give you exactly what you need so you can do what I’ve purposed for you. (John 15:4-5)”

Really! What a relief even just re-writing that to remember!

Another thought comes to mind, I haven’t remained committed to doing this great work. (Neh. 6:3) I have allowed things to de-rail me, distract me, and pull me away.

My endless “To Do” list, not having a plan for when things interrupt me, not sticking to the plan I committed to, not spending time with my Father who knows how to do all of this, giving in to anger and frustration and discouragement, listening to voices other than God’s about how what I’m doing is useless or worthless. All these regularly work to distract me and pull me off of the wall that God has purposed me to build.

He continues to gently remind me, He has given me a purpose and gifted me with ways to accomplish that purpose. He says that it is a great work, it is worth His time and attention which means it is worth more than I could ever imagine.

My Daddy’s attention is definitely worth me staying committed. I want Him to see a completed great work, one that He and I have done together. I don’t want to look back and see a trail of things I never finished and never trusted Him to help me accomplish. I want my Daddy to be proud of me. I want to leave a legacy of working on this great work with Him and because of Him so that my children and all the people they know and all of their children and the people they know will give God the glory and that this great work will be multiplied by my Father to accomplish all the things He has seen and purposed for it to do.

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