Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV)
I had such idealistic ideas about childbirth before our first child was born. Kathryn would be delivered naturally, as I stared calmly at my focal point picture, breathing as I had been taught with my wonderful husband and coach whispering just the right words of encouragement into my happy ears. Our baby would emerge pretty and pink and glowing with health. We had attended the classes. We had practiced. We were ready. Well ... the reality was somewhat messier than expected.
I was in labor 28 hours. Not only could I not focus on a focal point, I did not want to focus on anything except the doctor who could give me something to Make The Pain Stop. Sigh. Yep. I caved. Had the help of drugs. Delivered a healthy baby, but … she was not all pretty and pink when she first appeared. Ha! But Oh. When I held that little girl in my arms, when I counted her little fingers and toes and kissed her cute little button nose, I was smitten. All that hard, messy labor was worth it. Our Kathryn had arrived and we rejoiced.
Paul urges believers in the verse above to “ … stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” What work has the Lord called you to do? Are you a Sunday School teacher? On a missions committee? Working with the homeless? Whatever job God has assigned you at this point in your life, be encouraged. Labor—hard and messy though it might be—if done for the Lord, will never be in vain. Every little thing we do in our churches or simply in our daily lives that points to Christ matters.
Dear friend, don’t give up. Even when it hurts, even when you need help, like I did, to push through, keep going! On that great day when we arrive in Heaven, one of our greatest joys will be to see the results of our labors. That little kid in Sunday School class, who had a million questions, saved and present with you before the throne. Those from every tribe and nation worshiping, some of them there because of your monetary gifts, prayers, and support of missionaries. That homeless person you witnessed to … you didn't think he heard you and there he is beside you in Heaven worshiping the King! There is no greater work than the work God assigns. So stand firm. Let nothing move you from the work God has given you. It is not in vain.
Heavenly Father, show me today the work You have for me. Give me eyes to see those who need to hear of You. Help me to keep going, sharing the gospel, serving in small ways so that others can hear the good news that Jesus has paid the price for their sins and they are freed to enter Heaven if they put their trust in Him. Lord, use me. Give me strength to labor for Your kingdom work. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Originally written by Sharon Gamble of Sweet Selah Ministries. Used with permission.