Into what activity are you pouring your time and energy? Perhaps you’re a stay-at-home mom whose days are consumed chasing toddlers or driving your tweens to and from extra-curricular activities. Maybe you’re a career gal using your skills in office management, teaching, or nursing. Perhaps you’re caring for a senior parent, or teaching a Sunday school class for preschoolers, or working hard to keep a difficult marriage intact. Whatever it is…if you’re where God wants you…remain focused and faithful on the great work He’s called you to do!
Nehemiah sets a good example for us. He and his people had undertaken the project of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. They’d persevered despite the enemy’s threats and taunts. Now, as completion loomed on the horizon, their enemies tried once more to disrupt them. The three ringleaders sent a message to Nehemiah: “Come, meet with us.”
To an uninformed bystander, the request may have appeared reasonable. After all, what harm was there in simply meeting with these men? But Nehemiah was no dummy. He knew better than to fall for the enemy’s tactics. Recognizing that the men meant harm, he replied, “Not a chance. I’m doing a great work! I cannot stop to come and meet with you” (Nehemiah 6:2,3).
As a stay-at-home mom of three preschoolers, I often struggled with recognizing the greatness of my work. I compared my days with those of my friends who’d chosen to work outside their homes and felt like I was missing out. More than once I was tempted to do as the inner voice suggested: “Go find a real job – something that rewards you with a paycheck.” For me, doing so would have meant playing into the enemy’s hands. Thanks to a husband who encouraged me to value my role as a stay-at-home mom, I rejected the temptation. “No thanks,” I said. “I’m doing a great work! I cannot…I will not…stop what I’m doing to feed my felt need for public recognition or fulfillment in other ways.”
Whatever your role, it’s possible you’ve faced (or are facing) taunts and temptations to quit, to leave your work and turn your focus to something else. Let me encourage you to disregard those thoughts. If you’re where God has planted you, then stay focused and faithful there. Recognize that what you’re doing is valuable in His eyes. You’re doing a great work, my friend. Stay where you are until He moves you elsewhere, and you’ll find joy in obeying His voice, not the other.
Here’s a question for you: What’s your great work? Have you ever been tempted to turn your focus elsewhere? If so, how did you respond and what was the outcome?