July 7, 2020

Labor In The Lord’s Love

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 7, 2020

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Psalm 127:2

There has been a season or two in my life when I’ve been striving in my work because I didn’t believe the Lord would care for me. I wasn’t aware I had the wrong heart motive until I became completely exhausted. One day I was doing my work in joy and serving in peace. The next, I wasn’t just working, I was striving to protect myself from not having enough. Ultimately, I wasn’t trusting the Lord for His care or His love. 

I sensed that unrest and fear had settled into my spirit. Looking back, I realize I thought it was all up to me to keep things going in my work because if I didn’t do it, God surely wouldn’t do it for me. So, as my mother says, I was “burning the candle at both ends.” I was staying up late and getting up early, working, working. 

One afternoon, I knelt on the floor with my face in the carpet and cried out to the Lord. I was hurting and exhausted. I asked Him to show me why I was experiencing so much fear in my life and why I was striving so. 

In my mind’s eye, a picture popped up. It was me with my dad. I was just an itty-bitty girl, not even walking yet. I was wearing a cute, little pink dress. My father was watching television,  propped on his elbows while resting on his stomach. I crawled on his back and he quickly rolled over and barked at me to “Get off!” I felt rejected and emotionally abandoned. 

Then the Holy Spirit connected that moment with my dad to my present moment. I was striving to take care of myself because I wasn’t sure if God would care for me. Deep down, I was afraid that my Heavenly Father was like my earthly father and that He would leave me when I needed Him most. 

Certainly, work is a gift and the Lord wants us to work. He doesn’t want us to be lazy and sit around doing nothing if He has given us the ability to work and use our gifts (Proverbs 18:9). But there is a difference between having a balanced life in which we work in peace, and an unbalanced life in which work owns us because we don’t trust that God fully cares for us and loves us. 

Then the Lord revealed to me that the world has things backward. We often look at people who have a lot materially as successful. We admire them. And, we also think that the more people have, the more peace they have too. But the Lord showed me that this is not always true because sometimes the more people have, the more they have been striving to get it. They have been running from the fear of being abandoned by their Heavenly Father. They think that if they don’t do it all, He won’t care for them. 

The Lord graciously invited me to stop striving, and to rest in my work. I wasn’t sure how to do that but I knew I had to lay down fear and make the decision to trust Him with the unknown. I had to let Jesus take the wheel of my work life. 

Can you relate? Perhaps you have struggled with trying to ensure security by striving. Maybe you have felt the lack of peace that comes with not trusting Jesus with your provision. If so, will you choose to trust Him today? 

“And you will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security” (Job 11:18).

Prayer

Lord, when I don’t trust you, I am tempted to try to take my life into my own hands. I start working and striving to protect myself from being abandoned and not having enough. But you will never leave me and you will always provide for my needs. Please help me to remember your love for me and to live my life in that love. Amen.


Application

Is your life out of balance? Are you striving to get things done and feel a lack of peace? Talk with the Lord and ask Him to show you why you are striving. Then, follow Him into peace.


Related Reading

Philippians 4:19; Ecclesiastes 5:12; Ecclesiastes 2:20-23

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