Wednesday, March 6, 2024

God of Staying

Our culture is having an ongoing conversation about the value of work. What is it worth? Is some work worth more than other work? What about work that doesn't look like work? We have long been debating the nature of stay-at-home moms, at the value of what they contribute not only to a household, but to a society (and you should check out the numbers that someone finally put to everything that SAHMs do, if you haven't already). 

There just seems to be something ingrained in us that thinks that the bigger the outward action, the more valuable the contribution. The more we "do," the more we "are." 

And the same has been true, historically, in the church. We have placed a high value on the pastors, the priests, the preachers, the evangelists, the missionaries - anyone we think is going and doing for God as a grand act of outward obedience. Anyone whose impact seems so glaringly obvious. 

But are we right to do that? 

1 Samuel 30 suggests we are not. 

If you remember this story, David and his men were going out to fight a major battle, but not all of the men were going. Some of them, for various reasons, were staying behind. They were charged with keeping watch over all the things that Israel couldn't take into battle with them, with maintaining the homestand and the supplies. 

And when David's troops came back victorious, he split all the plunder not just with the warriors who went into battle, but with all the men who stayed behind, too. 

We don't often think like this. We think that the men who raise the sword get the goods. Period. The men who put their lives on the line get the reward. Plain and simple. But that's not how God works. God understands that everyone plays a valuable role in what's unfolding, whether they're on the front lines or the homestead, whether they're leading the charge or taking charge of what's leftover. Whether they're the infantryman or the supply man. 

This is important for those of us who don't spend our lives in "the ministry," who aren't preachers, priests, missionaries. Whose headlines are not "goes out to preach the Gospel and save the world." We may not be doing the obvious things, but we're still doing the important things. There's still something holy and wonderful about what we're doing. 

And when God gets the glory? We get our share, too. He doesn't forget us just because we weren't on what looked like the "front lines." We were just quietly doing our part, and God sees that. 

God sees you.

So don't be discouraged if you don't think you're doing "big" things for God. You are. Right where you are, wherever you are. 

The men who stay behind get a share of the plunder just the same. So do your thing, whatever your thing is, for the glory of God. That's all He's asking of you. 

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