In thinking over this past year, I have found that it has exhausted me in many ways. A mixture of amazingly good and very challenging issues made for a very busy and tiring year. A lot of what we experienced were even wonderful blessings – but they still can tire a person out. Some of the events of our year were frustrating, painful or seemingly without a positive conclusion. Some were things we hoped we would never face, such as dealing with a debilitating injury to my husband’s back that has kept him out of work for eighteen months. Some of the most exhausting things we experienced this year were just the plain, old boring day-to-day affairs of life! In other words, we experienced pretty much the same year that you probably did!
Do you ever get tired of doing the right thing when it doesn’t seem to make a difference? Do you get tired of being consistent in doing what is right no matter how those around you respond? Do you work at being diligent and yet still feel like the pile of undone tasks only grows? Life can feel more toil than joy sometimes – and that affects the joy we’re capable of feeling during the holidays.
Finding myself in this place, the Lord spoke a scripture reference directly to my heart this week. I had no idea what it was going to be, but when I turned to it, I found a wonderful heart-lifting scripture. It so beautifully addresses this issue I thought I would share it with you.
What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil – this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere Him.”
If life is feeling a little more like a toil than a joy, remember that if you ask Him, God is working through your toil to accomplish His purposes whether you see it or not. Your exhaustion and experience of “toil” might be at a job, career or ministry. Your toil might be in relationships – both family and friends. Your toil might be in a difficult marriage. Perhaps your toil is financial stress or health issues. Just know that every bit of it can be made beautiful through his loving touch. Have you asked Him to make these things into things of beauty? Have you asked Him to take them and work His purposes through them so that they will become eternal blessings that will last forever?
Everything God does through you will last forever. Everything God does in you will be made beautiful in His time. If you are waiting to see results from a lifetime of praying, loving, sharing, being diligent at your career or being a good wife and mother and are feeling a little blue about the visible results… Remember this verse! It is God that does the work. We can’t add to it or take away from it. We merely need to be faithful to what we know is right, do the good that we are capable of doing, ask Him to work through us and leave the results in His hands.
PRAYER: Lord, I’m feeling pretty harried and exhausted at this moment with all of the preparations for Christmas, family, and friends. I’m finding the joy of the season is a little be lost in all the toil of the season. Help me to find your joy in the midst of the work.
In the year ahead, help me to find joy in the work you’ve given me to do. You made man for work, and that work is to bring joy to his/her soul. Help me to find joy in the tasks that are mine to do. Refresh my strength. Refresh my vision and my hope. Give me energy for the tasks at hand and more. Renew the joy of my salvation and my life! AMENby