This morning’s Bible study discussed the worth of our ministry efforts as viewed by God rather than the culture. There are extremely talented women in our study. Many know much, and do much, for the Kingdom of God. All feel isolated and unworthy at times. All of us get tired. It struck me that we spend lots of time hoping for short term results to long term investments. This is a cultural malady; and exhausting, as well as discouraging. House projects have a similar feel, don’t they? The moment one is finished another is noticed.
I prayed when I got home for a mom who is beginning to see the fruits of her labor, combined with the grace of God, after spending the lives of her four, mostly grown, children at home meeting their needs. I was weeding my first garden bed of the season to celebrate the spring-like weather in February. Gardening helps me pray. And it reminds me of phrases like, “October apples in June.”
Yesterday, I caught up on the ABC show Once Upon A Time that we enjoy watching but missed for a couple of weeks. I was struck by the complexity of the story and by the fact that this show will be more or less good based upon the final episode. A bit like Harry Potter; fairy tales are mostly about endings. They are offer truth: lying gets you in trouble, evil exists and is always trying to find a way to spoil good, etc. Yet, their value is in the fact that the truth of good triumphing over evil is the expected ending; an ending the characters can’t see until their trials are over. In a world that offers as much sorrow and hardship, where often the victory looks to be on the other side, it is odd that we believe in happy endings.
We believe in them because the ultimate narrative, writ by the hand of God, says He will make it so. In fact, it says He has made it so; with the life, work, death and resurrection of His only, begotten Son. Jesus died that we may live. He gave up what only He could give so that we could give up our status as rebels. So that we can be adopted as children of the King. What better story? This year I have been given extra ordinary measures of grace in a new home and am beginning to make it seem so. I am reminded that no matter what I give up for the Lent season, in the end, when it really matters most, I get to give up sorrow, mourning, sickness, death and sin. I don’t give them up by my own effort, or for only 40 days. They are washed from me for all eternity that I may enter in to the presence of God.
May you see the investment in the things of eternity as worthy endeavors. Blessings.