I was worrying myself into a frenzy over nothing (as usual – it’s something I do well). I was stressing myself out over whether I should go back to work or stay at home. I was concerned about doing God’s will.
I’m still reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren (I’ve mentioned him in previous blogs) and there is a little section in Day 22 that opened my eyes to something I already knew. Pastor Warren said:
Much confusion in the Christian life comes from ignoring the simple truth that God is far more interested in building your character than he is anything else. We worry when God seems silent on specific issues such as “What career should I choose?” The truth is, there are many different careers that could be in God’s will for your life. What God cares about most is that whatever you do, you do in a Christlike manner.
This comes from Scripture:
- Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31
- Let all that you do be done in love. – 1 Corinthians 16:14
- Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. – Colossians 3:17
- Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men – Colossians 3:23
Do your work heartily as for the Lord. That’s some good stuff.
The best example of this is brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence was a Carmelite monk in the 18th century. He was just a humble cook and/or dishwasher who “communed with God throughout (his) daily tasks”. He would cook the meals for the monastery to please God. He would wash the dishes to please God. His journal entries and letters were published in a book called The Practice of the Presence of God. I borrowed a copy of this book from a friend some time ago and that book had such an impact on me that I copied down several quotes into my journal. Here are a few that pertain to the point of this blog.
- “We should offer our work to Him before we begin and thank Him afterward for the privilege of having done it for His sake.”
- “…our sanctification does not depend as much on changing our activities as it does on doing them for God rather than for ourselves.”
- “My only request is that He do whatever He pleases with me.”
- “Our sole occupation in life is to please God. What meaning can anything else have?”
How many Christians today have a faith like brother Lawrence? I’m sure I fall short. But that is something I am striving to rectify. I want my life to be only for God, in everything I do.
I tend to forget that God frequently speaks to us through our circumstances, perhaps even more so than in any other way. And our (my family’s) circumstances dictate that the sensible thing to do is for me to go back to work. Which is what I’ve already taken steps to do. So why was I fretting so? I certainly know better. One of the passages of Scripture that I have claimed the most in my life is from Matthew 6. Verses 25 to 34 say:
25“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
27“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?
28“And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,
29yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.
30“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!
31“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’
32“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
When I was a single mother and living on nothing, I claimed this promise on a daily basis. I guess I need to keep doing so.
You know, I often say that I’m the one that makes God cover His eyes with His hand and shake His head as if to say, “Sharon, Sharon, what am I going to do with you?” Maybe I’ll get it right some day.