Whenever I contemplate this verse, I feel my tasks are lighter and I can hold onto hope longer. In everything I do, whether caretaking or other responsibilities, I try to keep the Lord first. Despite difficulties, knowing I am ‘working’ for God, brings comfort, respite and deeper meaning to life. Staying faithful, loyal and hardworking to what God has called me to do, has also brought abundant rewards.
Ten years ago, while I spent a year on lamenting losses, God was keeping my husband alive. After his needing emergency heart surgery, we were told, if he’d had a heart attack, he would have died, and, of course, those circumstances changed my attitude to one of extreme gratitude. I wish I could write that from then on, I totally depended on God’s promises, but in my humanity, while I attempt to, nothing in life is ever perfect. Thankfully, God knows my heart, honors my efforts and offers me ongoing grace and freedom.
Each day has its own challenges, particularly to stay joyful midst much brokenness. When I look ahead at the uncertainties that surround, fear and discouragement can unnerve me. My confidence comes from knowing the Lord is with me and is already preparing the future not only for me, but for those I love. Encouragement comes from God’s word in Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed; I am your God. I will strengthen you, and help you, and uphold you with my right hand of justice.” It is in embracing the Word that we continue putting one foot in front of another.
As I enjoy God’s love and presence, I pass this blessing to others. It is a circle of life and our generous God keeps giving to us. (We are not always the ‘best’ receivers.) There are times we die and rise each day, but are we aware of the ways these unfold in our lives? Do we realize God comes to us disguised as our journey? Can you look with new eyes that ‘Whatever we are doing, we are doing for the Lord?’ Again, we gain inspiration from God’s word, James 5:11, “Indeed we call blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, ‘the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”
We all have weaknesses, whether it is the way we respond to suffering, hardship, sickness, addiction, division in families, financial problems – any of these challenges can leave us feeling overwhelmed, if we try to face them alone. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can start to see things from God’s perspective and find the strength we need to move forward. Every day, in good times and bad, the Spirit is with us, teaching us to ask God for what we need and filling us with grace.
In whatever setting we find ourselves, we can live in a way that expresses and pleases God. We are given the peace we need in any situation we face and are blessed for doing ‘from the heart.’ Are you willing to do all ‘for the Lord,’ and see the difference it will make in your life?