“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
I confess I get discouraged and weary. I have turned over a new leaf at this time of my life – by God’s grace. The result of a life of discipleship is a loaded plate – raising children, loving a husband, and reaching out to others with sincere caring. Sounds good, so why do I feel sometimes as if what I do doesn’t matter much?
It occurs to me that I was an overachiever as a student, finding the kudos of high grades and successful coursework extremely rewarding. Now I don’t have much back patting. No high marks, no awards, no letters of commendation.
How do I live without all that?
Several years ago I attended my husband’s Christian counseling conference in Colorado. On the last evening of the week-long event I arrived early at the entrance to the hotel before the special concert performance and saw a man in jeans, a ratty sweatshirt and an old baseball cap unloading sound and music equipment all by himself from the back of a trailer. As I made my way past him, I took a second look at his face. It was our special guest, Michael Card. The poet-scholar of the Christian music world was schlepping his own gear.
That is reality – We do good because it’s good – valuable for its own sake – not for the praise or recognition it might bring us.
Jesus knew how this worked:
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.’ Matthew 6: 1-4 (NIV)
Remember that our Heavenly Father sees us, and will reward us in his way, in his time.