Making Every Day Count
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The most valuable lessons I’ve learned about God’s heart came through observations of my mom’s life. Not only by her words, but through her lifestyle, character, and actions, God taught me to make every day count. The following verse sums it all up.
“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” (I Corinthians 15:58 NLT)
We had a family business that began in very humble beginnings. My dad, a butcher like his father, bought the meat market from my grandpa and turned it into a restaurant that continually grew with his ingenious creativity. Both my parents were very hard workers. While my dad worked such long hours that we seldom saw him at home, my mom taught elementary school.
So that we could have a family meal together at least a couple times a week, my mom would drive my brother and me to the restaurant for supper—otherwise known as “dinner” beyond Texas. She would surprise us in that cheerful voice, “Want to go have supper with Dad tonight?” We always got so excited; after all, it was quite a scenic trip to pass over Galveston Bay, which looked like a vast ocean to us! Little did we know what a sacrifice that hour drive was for her after her long work day, because she did it with such joy. In fact, we never knew the many other sacrifices she made for us until it was a reflection of past history.
Once we got there, I had a special window into God’s view. People were drawn to my mother—not only as the owner’s wife; but her effervescent joy expressed the love in her heart for people. Her gentle, warm and tenderhearted style mirrored the ways of Jesus. Consistently, I observed her treating people as if they mattered greatly to her, since they certainly did to God ().
Fast forward to Dad’s diagnosis of cancer, hastening his death six weeks later, Mom was thrust into grief’s shocking blow and the sudden role of managing the business. Instead of revolting at the abrupt shift from teaching children to managing a restaurant, her attitude was saturated with God’s grace. People were watching closely. Would her reputation crumble?
Whereas I know for a fact that she had led some of the waitresses to the Lord when Dad was still alive, even more opportunities abounded for her to share Jesus with those who were drawn to her when her time of suffering and hardship intensified. Why? Because instead of getting bitter, she got better. People knew what a significant loss and major adjustment it was for her. Yet, they saw the light of Jesus even brighter through the peace she maintained in the midst of her pain.
It was not until the last decade of her life that she became a ministry leader, insofar as having an official title. From God’s viewpoint, however, her “ministry” actually began all those years ago when she was simply living like Jesus in the sacrifices of motherhood, teaching, and showing God’s love to everyone she encountered. All the lives she influenced for God’s kingdom in those earlier years calculated as great wealth in God’s economy. ()
Be encouraged, no matter your role in life, living like Jesus is what counts in God’s eyes; no act of kindness goes unnoticed by Him. It’s in the daily ways of touching someone’s life with the love of God that amounts to great worth in heaven!
Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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