Have you ever been frustrated with your job? Wondered if anything you are currently doing really matters?
Recently, my daily Bible reading took me through Isaiah. In Chapter 49, verses 1-7, he has a conversation with God about his frustration with his job.
Listen to me, all you in distant lands! Pay attention, you who are far away! The Lord called me before my birth; from within the womb he called me by name. He made my words of judgment as sharp as a sword. He has hidden me in the shadow of his hand. I am like a sharp arrow in his quiver. He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, and you will bring me glory.” I replied, “But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the Lord ’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.” And now the Lord speaks—the one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant, who commissioned me to bring Israel back to him.
The Lord has honored me, and my God has given me strength. He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” The Lord, the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel, says to the one who is despised and rejected by the nations, to the one who is the servant of rulers: “Kings will stand at attention when you pass by. Princes will also bow low because of the Lord, the faithful one, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
This scene brought to mind 10 things we should remember when a job is going nowhere:
1. God’s plan for you began long before you were born.
2. He’s the one that chose your gifts. (Given a choice, Isaiah might not have chosen the one he got.)
3. Your gifts are all about bringing him glory.
4. Even when you are in the center of God’s will, it will at times seem mundane and boring.
5. It’s best to leave the score-keeping to God and trust him for your reward.
6. During uneventful days, it’s good to remind yourself of who God is and what he’s called you to do.
7. Never forget what an honor it is to do what you do for him.
8. God’s plan for you is bigger than what you have imagined.
9. If you remain in the posture of a servant, the same people who won’t give you the time of day now will pay close attention to you later.
10. When things do get better (they will), don’t forget who it’s all about.