By Steve Troxel
God's Daily Word Ministries
In an instant it was gone! One moment late Saturday night I was processing the last requests for devotional books on my laptop computer and the next moment I was staring at a blank screen. I'm supposed to be able to change the battery on my computer without losing any data, but something went wrong - the worst of all possible events - disaster struck! In that brief moment, I not only lost the file I was processing, I lost ALL the information on my hard drive.
Oh, I was sure I could recover the data - it HAD to be recovered! The last backup of my files was over a week old and I had invested over thirty hours on the book request file. But after several hours of desperate searching for solutions, and a call to the technical support department in Austin Texas, I had to accept the conclusion - it was gone, dead, forever lost.
Dear God, what lesson do you want me to learn? More frequent backups of data, yes; shut down before changing the battery, yes; but there must be a Spiritual lesson because I'm overly frustrated and discouraged. All those hours of work gone, as if they were never done. Lord, why? Time for bed.
Sunday morning I turned on the computer once more. Maybe God had performed a miracle during the night. Nothing but a blue screen. More prayer. Teach me Lord! Then His answer came. My many hours of work had been destroyed, but God reminded me that one day ALL my work would be destroyed! In an instant much shorter than the time required to crash a hard drive, everything would be gone.
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
In God's economy, our service performed in faith is the finished product: "The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent" (John 6:29). He is not concerned with what we produce, but that we love Him with all our heart regardless of what He's asking us to do. The true result of our work is in our heart, not in the product we can see. [Current note: I really struggle with this last sentence.] Our "disasters" do not take God by surprise, they are simply one of His ways of teaching and redirecting our effort.
It took about eight hours on Sunday to reconfigure my computer and I'll need to redo about thirty hours of work; but I sincerely appreciate the lesson. God does not need our effort, nor does He take greater pleasure in the end of a project than in the beginning. Rather, He has invited us to express our heart as we join in HIS work and rejoice in His accomplishments. Whether our tasks seem great or small, with purpose or without, let's listen for His direction and do ALL we do purely for the love of God.
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