“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Col 3:23-24 (NIV)
As we look at our role of Commissioner, one who sends, you may think of family and friends. Some friends will be closer than others, and some friends may become close like family. As we draw friends and family closer we become more vulnerable.
A close friend had come along on trips and came to know several family members, so when this friend asked for help with a big project, my extended family pitched in. For my family this project required a considerable sacrifice of planning, time, talent, energy, separation from other family members, and finances. You do that for a friend that is like family.
Then after the project started the friend began making strange demands, very difficult living arrangements and general chaos. When calm, rational discussions could not fix the problems and help our friend to see clearly, the situation felt like successive sucker punches to the stomach. Many times my wife was driven to private tears because she felt she had let down family that trusted her.
What did my family do? Though this was tearing us up on the inside, we did not respond with bitter emotions, but continued to love our friend when not loved back. We also prayed, prayed hard. I could see the Lord (miraculously) create some breakthroughs where logic and human effort could not. There were just enough breakthroughs that we were able to finish the project on time and with excellence.
The end result of the project was truly awesome, like a work of art. Through these difficulties each family member dug down to find the inner strength to do well, as unto the Lord (Col 3:23-24), because the anticipated external rewards were absent.
Related quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King: “Whatever your life’s work is, do it well.”...“If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music; sweep streets so well that all the host of Heaven and earth will have to pause and say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper, who swept his job well.’”… The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige and even his life for the welfare of others”…“The time is always right to do what is right.”
Aftermath: The friend has since reached out, apologizing, recognizing they were overwhelmed and thanking the family for pulling through. For my family it will take time to heal the deep wounds.
Daily Battle Order: Consider today that if in the future you encountered an unexpected and hurtful situation, how would you respond? How would your immediate family respond? Are you now building (discipling) an inner strength in your family that they can individually rely on in times of crisis?
Second, in our lifetime we may encounter irrational behavior from society that cannot be overcome by logic and good intent alone, like Dr. King faced. Be preparing now, especially in your prayer life, to be able to respond as one commissioned by Christ.