"It's not the amount of our work that's important, or the status of it, or the notoriety of it. It's the faithfulness with which we do exactly what He has assigned us. Our lives and labors call for perseverance, persistence, patience, and prayer."
I'm not sure where I read that, but I know it mattered enough for me to write it down. Sometimes I feel like what I'm doing for God is so much less than He deserves. I mean, shouldn't I be a missionary in Africa or something? Instead, I have the joy of teaching a women's Bible Study in Southern California! Such suffering for the Lord! But you know what? Its exactly what He has assigned me to do and He's just as pleased when I'm faithful to MY calling as He is to the missionary in Africa when they're faithful in theirs.
As a ponder my "assignment" I see that it does have a cost; not African heat, snakes or lions, but time. Most all of my "free" time is spent doing something related to the Bible Study I teach on Tuesday nights. This group of over 200 women run the gamut of "brand new to the Bible", to "been in the Word all their lives". The challenge for me is to teach in a way that's clear enough for the first timer and interesting enough for the old pro. That means lots of research, and lots of time in prayer and in His presence so I always know what HIS plan is for the study rather than mine. It also means not having as much time as I would like to spend with friends, or doing the other things I enjoy. But the reward is infinitely greater than the cost.
I'm sure if you think about it, you will see what your current assignment is from the Lord. I believe being a Mom is a VERY high assignment. It means laying aside your own life frequently in order to better the life of your child. Its a 27/7/365 assignment and God is pleased to see you faithfully tending to it. Being single or childless when that's not what you desire can be an assignment also. It isn't necessarily permanent, but God looks to you to be faithful in it and to reflect the truth that your life is as rich and full as it can be as you live in relationship to Him. Not an easy assignment. Whatever your assignment from the Lord, you will be most successful and God-pleasing as you exercise the four "P's" seen in the opening quote:
Perseverance - to persist steadily in an action or belief, usually over a long period and especially despite problems or difficulties. To persist steadily over a long period of time is in opposition to all of our "feelings". We are a microwave society while our Creator is a crock pot God! He knows nothing will bring out the best in us like long, slow cooking in the heat of trials.
Persistence - the ability to resist being disturbed or altered. When time lengthens and things aren't going our way we can easily get upset and complain or alter our course to one that seems more comfortable. God looks for us stay the course and keep our eyes on Him and not the circumstances. Remember, He's looking for faithfulness more than success.
Patience - the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties. Patience is perseverance and persistence put together. Its the ability to not be controlled by our circumstances. Its to have "the deep settled confidence that God is in control of all of the details of our lives".
Prayer - Prayer is on on going conversation with the Lord. Did you notice I didn't say monolog? Prayer involves speaking and listening. Its not presenting your thoughts to God to be rubber stamped as approved. Its submitting our thoughts and ideas to Him and then being open for Him to speak to us about them through the Bible, His written Word, through a pastor or teacher, through others, or even through music.
Do you want to do great things for God? Then faithfully tend to the assignment He's given you right now. There are no big things or little things to Him. He's simply looking for faithfulness.
PS For those who might be interested and who live in the area, the Bible Study starts again September 6 at 7 pm at Covenant Presbyterian Church in the city of Orange. We will start our 30 week study on the Gospel of John. Leave a comment if you would like more details!