Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? Are not his days also like the days of an hireling? As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work.
Not a soul on earth has likely ever felt the frustration of ministry work like Job. Here he was, a man who the scripture described as “Perfect and upright and one that feared God,” ~ Job 1:1, and because of that he was targeted by Satan and tested by God. There is a vast difference between Job and I. Yet it doesn’t stop the ministry frustrations at times and the feeling that my eternal difference making is sparse. The only difference, I’m not worthy of the right to complain. Still doesn’t stop me from doing it though.
This morning Job 7:1-2 gave me the kick in the pants that I needed.
The Appointed Time
I have not felt well lately. Mainly because I’m not taking care of myself. My friend Gloria has told me that she is having a difficult time raising me. This damaged knee of mine has me feeling like I’m a rebellious teen ager who has just been told they’re grounded. I’m sneaking out at every turn, but unfortunately I’m closer to being a senior citizen than a senior in high school, and sneaking out means that I’m walking and working more than I should around the house. That’s sad isn’t it?
But my ministry work suffers because my psyche suffers. If I sit, I feel worthless. Imagine how Job felt. It literally makes me nauseous to think what that man went through. It’s why his words carries weight. He earned that right.
Job knew that there was an appointed time to die, and that unfortunately this wasn’t it for him. He was wishing for death.
I am wishing for life! If there is an appointed time to die (and there is) there is also an appointed time to live; and by live I mean serve. Until we draw our last breath there is work to be done. This is our appointed time. What are we going to do with it?
If you’re not dead, God’s not done!
The Appointed Work
Job’s work for that time in his life was to be a witness. He didn’t realize. He didn’t know we’d be writing, talking and preaching about him for thousands of years later. And we don’t know what our tough times will mean either on the other side of eternity.
I think God has some reading for us to do when we get to Heaven.
Psalm 56:8 says “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?”
When we’re serving, they’re talking about us in Heaven. Our tears are in a bottle and there is a book of our story! I don’t want my book covered in dust because it’s never written in. (not that they’ll be dust in heaven.” Maybe angel glitter. But I want my book to be a best seller!
The Appointed Reward
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
We forget that God’s idea of quickly and ours is two separate notions. But “quickly” just might mean before this day is through, and the opportunity to collect those rewards are limited.
My rewards are those I love. I have a house full of kids today, I’m believing that they’re going to make my life easier. Yeah…. I didn’t believe that any more than you do. But, it’s an opportunity for them to see Noni serving God in hopes that they too will have that desire. And that will be reward enough!