Thanks, God, for the work!

 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him” 1 Timothy 1:12 (NLT)

God, thank you so much for the amazing work that you have given me to do!

Thank you for the dishes that need to be washed.  Thank for the clothes that must be cleaned.  Thank you for the home to tend to.

Thank you so very much for the gift of my husband whom you have asked me to love and submit to.

Thank you for the children that you have left in my care to love and tend to.

Thank you for all of the cards you ask me to write, for the phone calls you ask me to make and for the prayers you ask me to pray.

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service.”  1 Timothy 1:12 (NIV)

I will opening admit, that my heart does not always sing these kinds of praises for the work that I have been given to do.  More often I find myself shaking my head in weariness from another load of clothes to go through the wash or a counter full of dirty dishes.  My work is not often glorious.  It’s really small and unnoticed most of the time.

Do you think my family will notice that I cleaned all of the bedroom windows today?  I pulled off screens and washed them off.  I cleaned the insides and the outsides.  They may not sparkle like a Windex commercial, but wow is it an improvement!  An improvement not likely to be noticed.  I’m pretty sure my son is not going to run out of his room and hug me because he has an unobstructed view of the yard.

Even if I get no hugs and no words of praise, I have challenged myself to find joy in the work that God has called me to.  I want to be grateful for my work.  I want to thank God in the way illustrated in the verse from 1 Timothy.

I want to undertake the work that God has placed right in front of me.  I deeply desire to do it well, working for Him and for no one else.

This is a HUGE challenge for me for two reasons.

The first is that I struggle with people pleasing tendencies.  I really like receiving praise and adoration.  So often I find myself doing things that someone asked me to do just to please them, not because God called me to the work.  I recognize this as an obstacle that I will face any day that I interact with other human beings, which for me is almost daily.

Here is what I have been working on to help me with this.  First, I try to not make an automatic decision.  I can not tell you the number of times I have rushed into something and regretted it later.  Next, I try to pray about it.  Then comes the hardest part, waiting for an answer.  Oh is that ever so painful.  It is so challenging just to slow down long enough to tell God about it, waiting for a response can be excruciating.  This is especially true when combined with a habit of over thinking circumstances and trying to read clues.

Sometimes it feels as if life is a giant puzzle to be solved one step at a time.  I can really bog myself down attempting to bring understanding to a situation through logic and reason.  I can be so caught up in my conundrum that I check out mentally from those around me.  I may be present physically, but am not blessing anyone with my presence.

The second thing is that I strain to see the little things right in front of me as my mission in life.  I spend to much time coveting the great missions that others have been called to.  Running businesses, launching non-profit organizations, writing books, leading ministries, saving lives, going global and many more seemingly extravagant missions reaching 1,000s of people.

Faithfully doing my best to love & care for the little family and the few friends that God has placed in my life often times seems so meager.

But, you know what?  I was hand designed for this work.  God appointed me to it.  Every hug that I give.  Every ride I provide for my children and their friends.  Every dinner that I cook.  Every load of clothes that I wash.  Every form I fill out for another member of my household.  Every card that I write and send to someone.  That is all work that God has set aside for me to do.  Isn’t that AMAZING!

“I’m so grateful to Christ Jesus for making me adequate to do this work. He went out on a limb, you know, in trusting me with this ministry.”  1 Timothy 1:12 (Message)

God has blessed me with an amazing mission: to encourage with love, passion and enthusiasm.  Do you know what, there is a huge range of areas where that can be applied.  The areas where it has been and will be needed will change over time.  You would be amazed at where I have been able to use my gifts already.

God has brought me to so many different types of people who have needed my love and encouragement for a season.  I have done what I could, in the time and place that God had me, then God moved me.  I have been involved in getting some really cool projects started, however I have been moved before a sweet harvest of fruit was collected from the effort.  Why is that?  I have often wondered but have concluded that I will never know.  It is just not what God had in store for me.

So enough about me.  What about you?  What is it that God has called you to right now?  What is the work that He has for you?  Is it something big that you can not get it off your heart?  Is it something small that no one else may ever know about?  Is it that you have no idea and are just doing the best you can to make it through a day while you wait for an answer?

Whatever it is, God has appointed you to it.  That is an amazing miracle!  He chose YOU!  YOU!  There are billions of people on this planet.  God chose YOU in this time and in this place.  He officially set you apart.

Do you know what that makes you?  It makes you incredibly precious!  It makes you a living, breathing miracle and a masterpiece with incomparable value!

God does this because He loves you.  God cherishes you for who you are, because of this He designed just the right work for you to do.  He will provide the strength and the tools to do it with.

Let’s give thanks to God today for the work that He appoints us to!

Amazing Lord,

You are awesome beyond compare!  I apologize for all of the times that I have griped about my work and seen it as too small of a task.  I am so sorry for my pride-fulness.  Please forgive me. 

Thank You for the little tasks that You place before me, for however short or long the assignments last, thank You!

Lord, please help us all to find joy and Your blessing by doing the work that You have called us to.  May we remember how special it is to work for You.  May we look less to others for their opinions and may we look more to You, Jesus and the Spirit to find the value in what we have been called to.

In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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