Lately, I've been tricked into believing that a lot of my efforts go to waste.
The other night, I cooked a nice dinner. I did not want to. It was hot, I was exhausted, and I would have much rather spent extra money ordering something to pick up. But I know my husband feels loved when I cook for him. I know he also appreciates my efforts to save money by eating at home. So I mustered up the energy and came up with quite a nice meal.
He then came home to say that he'd already eaten. Our communication wires got crossed and I ended up feeling so discouraged. I felt like half the time, the things I do around our home are a waste.
I clean off a counter, just so the rest of the family can set all their junk back on it.
I try something new and healthy in the kitchen and no one likes it.
I paint my own toenails instead of getting a pricey pedicure in order to be a better steward of our money and it gets ruined in minutes from the trampling of little feet.
I teach my children good manners, good language, and kindness as the world around them teaches name calling, selfishness, and disrespect.
I organize (insert any part of the kids' rooms HERE) just so it can be undone into a big mess again.
So much of what I spend my time on gets reversed or seemingly washed away.
And God knows I've been wrestling with this feeling. So I'm not surprised that this morning, during my quiet time, I read this:
Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Yes! Okay. I know this. (And how easy it is to forget!)
Nothing goes unaccounted for in heaven. Jesus sees everything I do, every effort I make to serve another. And if my heart motivation is to ultimately serve and love HIM, then my reward and my sense of satisfaction at the end of the day cannot be taken from me.
I think perhaps God removes our earthly satisfaction at times, gives us a taste of feeling like our efforts in this life are a waste, just to make sure we learn this lesson. Just to remind us that our hearts are not quite where they could be. It is very easy to "work for men," seeking approval and appreciation in all we do. That's human. It's a bit of a challenge to not need that recognition, knowing solidly that the Lord sees, and that His recognition is enough.
I pray we can go into our week knowing that we serve and love and work for an audience of One.