By Jennie Allen
“For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun? For all his days are sorrowful, and his work burdensome; even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 2:22-23 (NKJV)
As depressing as this verse is, I relate. A lot of my striving only seems to make me more tired and empty. Even when I lay down at night after a day full of errands and phone calls and emails, my heart is still not resting. It’s often running more wild in the middle of the night.
Feeling overwhelmed is not new. This verse was written thousands of years ago. Humans strive. We always have. We fill our minutes and days with so many things. But those minutes equal the sum of our lives. What are we spending our minutes on? Will those things last?
God has an assignment for each one of us. He prepared in advance the good works we would do. We are to just simply walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10) He doesn’t want us to have more to do. In fact, running around and doing every good thing is not what He wants from us. He is not pleased with random sacrificial service. He is pleased with obedience. It is better to obey than to sacrifice. (1 Samuel 15:22)
We are busy and some things must be done to live… like laundry and dishes and eating and diapers and so on. But what if we really looked to God for the things He wants us to set inside of our everyday lives, inside of the mundane – the things He has for us to do here that will last forever? The things that He planned for us before He made us? What would He say?
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27 (NKJV)
For each one of us obedience will look different, but always begins in His Word.
Today I found this in His Word...
“Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.” Colossians 1:28-29 (NKJV)
A reason to strive. A striving that is birthed by His power and rests in His power, a striving for things that will outlast my few minutes here. I want to build and live and strive for people, for Christ, in the midst of my everyday mundane. I want to strive for His glory, His kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Maybe at night when my heart is restless it is because it wants and strives for all the wrong things.
What are you striving for?
Jennie Allen is a Bible teacher who is passionate about inspiring a new generation of women to encounter the invisible God. Raised in a Christian home, Jennie heard about God her entire life but not until high school did she see her need for Him. Since that time she has been teaching groups of girls and young women about her God. Her first Bible study, Stuck: The Places We Get Stuck and the God Who Sets Us Free, will release in October 2011. To sample Stuck, visit www.StuckDVDStudy.com. For more on Jennie, visit www.jennieallen.com.