Spiritual Director · August 24, 2017

Devote #90

How easy is it for us to just move from one thing to the next?

Yesterday, I talked about those projects that failed and we thought to ourselves, “all that hard word for nothing.” But, how easy is it, once we’ve finished a long, hard exhaustive project… or wrestled through a tough conversation that needed to be… or just made it through a really tough, grueling day at work?

How often do we celebrate by worshipping God? Or how often do we just jump right into the next thing on our “to do” list, or maybe plop down on the sofa, kick up our heels and call it a day?

That’s what I thought of as I read some chapters from the book of Ezra.

The people of Judah were given permission by King Darius, to rebuild the city of Jerusalem including the temple. It took 20 long years to finally accomplish the project. These people had talked about it… they had dreamt about it… they prayed about it… and they worked hard at it. There was a lot of sweat equity that went into this detailed venture.

All 20 years were filled with hard projects… countless tough conversations… naysayers always attacking… more hard days than anyone ever wanted to count. Body aches and pains.  

But when everything was said and done… when it was all wrapped up… these people didn’t just move on to the next thing… they didn’t tackle the next project… and they certainly didn’t kick off their shoes, plop down on the couch and have a cold one.

They set aside seven days to celebrate. Did you hear that? For seven days they did nothing else but praise and worship God. They gave Him thanks for helping them, letting His favor rest on them, and by allowing them to finish the task at hand. The Bible tells us,

“Everyone was happy because the LORD God of Israel had made sure that the king of Assyria would be kind to them and help them build the temple.” —Ezra 6:22

Many of us can’t even fathom praising and worshipping God for seven days. One hour is pushing it.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today

I don’t know what you’re working on – maybe it’s a home remodel, or a self makeover. Maybe it’s the biggest proposal you have ever been given and much is at stake. Can I suggest something to you: before you just move on to the next thing on your “to-do” list, and before you take some pictures and post it on Facebook, Snap Chat, or Instagram, be sure to spend some time thanking and praising God for all that He has done for you. Thank Him for supplying all your needs and helping you see it through.

You are awesome in all Your ways. Thank You for the task you lay before us. Thank You especially for those that are too hard for us to ever do. They remind us how much we need You. Jesus, You be praised and glorified in our life.

It’s in Your name we pray, Amen.

—Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.