Monday, May 21, 2012

To Each His Own


And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you.' No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.” 1 Corinthians 12:21-22

The other day, I was talking with a friend who has been battling menopause and all the hormonal imbalances that go with that process. I have to say I have a bit of empathy for her situation because I am just starting that process with some very uncomfortable side effects and I do not look forward to the day when my personal battle will intensify (I just pray the Lord will give me the resolve and patience of my friend to battle it with grace if that too is meant to be a difficulty I am to endure in my future.) But the main message I want to convey this morning doesn't specifically have to do with menopause and so I digress.

What I really want to talk about today is the way we as Christians compare ourselves with other Christians and how we sometimes feel we ourselves do not measure up to the lives of those we see around us, or on the flip side we feel that others are just not carrying their share of the spiritual weight that needs to be divvied out. Now, maybe there is some truth in the fact that we sometimes need a kick in the pants to get inspired to go out and do the work we are called to do in the kingdom. And, also there are some people who do not answer the call to follow God and their ignorance is a result of their laziness. But what about those Christians who are doing all they can and yet feel like they are falling short?

In my reading this morning I came across the following story in 1 Samuel and it made me start thinking about my friend and the purposes God has for her in the work of His kingdom as she has been forced to sit back “with the luggage”. And yet at the same time my thoughts were left on how God wants to still bless her in her suffering and rest, not just heal her to keep up in the physical work she had been doing for many years in the church. Read on and see what I mean:
Now David came to the two hundred men who had been so weary that they could not follow David, whom they also had made to stay at the Brook Besor. So they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. And when David came near the people, he greeted them. Then all the wicked and worthless men of those who went with David answered and said, 'Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except for every man’s wife and children, that they may lead them away and depart.' But David said, 'My brethren, you shall not do so with what the Lord has given us, who has preserved us and delivered into our hand the troop that came against us. For who will heed you in this matter? But as his part is who goes down to the battle, so shall his part be who stays by the supplies; they shall share alike.'” 1 Samuel 30:21-24
David is known as a man after God's own heart, and I believe these above passages really show us the heart of God for His people who are unable to fight the full battle or work a complete day as some are incapable of. As you read through the following parable and then also reflect on the introduction verse up above, listen with your heart how closely the words of David reflect the words of God through the things Jesus was trying to teach His disciples:
For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’ So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?'” Matthew 20:1-15
Today if you are weary, then rest in the Lord and the little you are able to do. Do not beat yourself up if a little is all you can give today. God knows and He cares about your situation and He does not call you to do more than you physically, mentally, and spiritually can handle. If He has a desire for you to do more, He will supply but that is not always His plan. Sometimes resting in His will, waiting, and trusting are the greater works He is desiring to work in your life.

On the other hand, if you have energy bounding out of every pore of your body today do not waste it on the things of this world or on criticizing those who cannot perform as optimally as you can. Instead, turn all your work today into acts of worship and thank God at every turn for His faithfulness in keeping you healthy, alert, and ready for each opportunity the day brings which gives you the ability to praise Him through the work of your hands, mind, and spiritual fortitude. And also pray for ways to be able to share your energy with those who do not have the greater amounts you have been given.

This is the day the Lord has made – rejoice and be glad that He is in it and the fact that He has given you the grace to live it unique to the abilities He has given you for this day.

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