Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 24 October 21:
Psalm 127:2 — It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Psalm 127 is an important Psalm for parents, though its central truth applies to all of life’s endeavors. It starts out with, “Unless the Lord builds the house….” The word house can refer to ‘dynasty’ for family. I have yet to meet a parent who hasn’t at times felt great stress taking care of his or her family or who hasn’t felt simply overwhelmed by the work involved. Psalm 127 is a reminder to trust in the Lord as you labor in fellowship with Him – you don’t labor in vain. (Psalm 127:3) The psalmist is certainly not suggesting we stop working (Proverbs 6:6-11), stop getting up early (Proverbs 31:15; Psalm 119:148), or stop watching over our families late at night (Psalm 119:62); the psalmist is saying don’t do it anxiously, independently, or hopelessly; rather, labor with God, through God, for God, and in mutually supporting relationships with other Christian families. Strive to be a good “steward” (oikonomos) unto God, a word which means keeper or manager of the Master’s house (it’s His house, not yours), and rest easy knowing that God cares for His beloved children, and God, The Creator, The Almighty, The Sovereign, loves your children far more than you possibly can.
If your labors of love feel more like anxious toil, pray that God will give you the peace, rest, and thankfulness which can only come from remaining in His presence while you do the good deeds He has created you for and prepared for you – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
- Exodus 33:14 — And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
- Matthew 11:28 — Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
- Matthew 6:25-34 — “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
- Colossians 3:23-24 — 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.
- Proverbs 16:3 — Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
- Philippians 2:14-15 — Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world….
- Galatians 6:9 — And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 24 October 21: Rest easy, and strive to be a good “steward” (oikonomos) unto God, a word which means ‘keeper, or manager, of the Master’s house.’