“It is impossible to get exhausted in work for God. We get exhausted because we try to do God’s work in our own way.” – Oswald Chambers
I could feel my son’s frustrations last night when he found out that the illustrations he had been working on to produce the image he wanted to enter in the County’s Art Show was lost. However, the image remained. Not the steps he took as he painstakingly drew each line using mathematical stuff in the computer. He was upset. And it was understandable. Nothing hurt my husband and I more than to see him so upset because the many months it took for him to work on that project was lost…Just because of that program from the computer that didn’t convert it to become that file that he wanted.
“Take a deep breath…”
“Try to cool off please. Just be thankful that your image was saved and that you could still submit that,” I added but with a growing tear ripping across my heart as a mother.
He had been quiet. He would never talk in any offensive language. It was just his eyebrows were showing anger. That was how I could tell. And deep sighs.
I fell asleep as he continued to work on his homework. As I laid down and fell asleep…whispering prayers for him…
This morning as I ate breakfast, I brought it up again. Not wanting to remind him of the pain and frustration but it was necessary. I wanted him to know…Nothing truly was lost. Even from that mishap, he gained so much knowledge and he could use that as a learning tool instead.
“You have the choice to continue to be upset about what that program did to your months of work…But you also have a choice to pray about it and move on. Be thankful to the Lord that the image was not lost which was the important thing you needed for the art show.”
Like a broken record that he must have heard thousands of times, I repeated, “I want to remind you…Whether you win or not, you are a winner already because you are able to use that talent that God has gifted you with. Never allow the spiritual enemy to steal the joy in your heart. Because as believers, we will also face trials. But we must hold on to what is true.”
“I’m not upset anymore, Mom,” he reassured me, as he savored the buttered Texas toast I paired with the candied bacon. He started laughing as he recalled his Art teacher joking around with him, teasing him that one of these days, his computer would start smoking because of the difficult techniques he was doing in that project. “Boy! Was he right!” I thought… We laughed together. His heart was at peace as he spoke about retrieving what was lost by going back and doing every step he took even if it would sound like a lot of work so he could get the lost illustrations back.
As the smoke of frustrations eases up, one truth emerged:
That we must continue to labor for Christ, no matter what difficulty we face. Because in doing so, that is how we retrieve what is lost… We don’t allow our lights to be put out so the other lost ones could be found…We don’t labor for us. We labor for Christ. We shine for Christ!
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil. - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 (NIV)