I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. (John 17:4, NLT)
Have you ever reflected on how Christ walked this earth for only thirty-three brief years, yet could proclaim at His life’s end that He had finished the work that His Father had given Him to do? Christ obeyed the Father consistently and completely yet frequently didn’t fulfill the expectations of those closest to Him. And although we’re not the perfectly obedient, sinless Son of God, each of us has individual work that we have the privilege of doing as God’s children; but, just like Martha we can get “worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one” (Luke 10:41-42a).
I started to meditate on all this over a decade ago while frustratingly trying to balance working 12-hour rotating shifts as a police officer along with living faithfully in other important spheres of life- especially relationally. I remember feeling as if I never had enough time in a day to do everything that I needed to do. Resigning from my job, while a future goal, wasn’t a viable option at the time as although our four children were already in our home, we were waiting (for several years) for their adoptions to go through as a necessary prerequisite to laying down my job in a way that my husband was comfortable with.
Hemmed in and seemingly at the mercy of stalled circumstances, I was at the point of feeling exasperated, perplexed, and….exhausted! My desperate heart was fertile soil for the truth that everything is for a reason and a season; each day I too could do the work or things that my Heavenly Father was calling me to do (Notice the qualifier!), and there would always be things that I or others wanted me to do that would remain undone at a day’s end. And although these truths didn’t bear fruit instantaneously, harvest came increasingly and continues thankfully. Truth surely does set free!
So how are you doing in this area? Do circumstances, schedules, lists, expectations, opinions, and demands tend to call the shots as you react to life or are you more of a reflective responder like Jesus who, freed from the shackles of false guilt and others’ expectations, communed with and surrendered to the Father daily? Either way, be encouraged that you not only have all the time that you need, but that you are exquisitely crafted, uniquely skilled, spiritually enabled, and aptly gifted for all that the Father has appointed for you to do in this time and in this place (Ephesians 2:10; Acts 17:26; 2 Timothy 2:21; 3:17; 1 Peter 4:10). He is not looking for perfect, harried stewards – only faithful, responsive ones (Matthew 25: 23). May we simplify our lives and walks so that we can best exalt our incomparable God who lives in us, walks with us, and works through us!
Melissa Smith is the Women’s Enrich Counselor at America’s Keswick. She has the privilege and honor of ministering to the Colony men’s wives, fiancees and girlfriends, the Barbara’s Place women, and some women from the community who God brings to America’s Keswick for help or care. She and Bill, her husband of 18 years, have four adopted children ages 17 to 24. Her fervent desire is to point women to Christ and His sufficiency, provision, and promises.