The Work And The Reward - Lindsay Schmidt

Posted on June 26, 2020

I was sitting with my son today working on his schoolwork and he was doing awesome. Reading everything that needed to be read, practicing his writing skills, talking about a painting, and then after about 30 minutes, he begins to get restless. He starts losing his focus, he begins to get frustrated when he can’t pronounce a word, and I can see that I’m losing him. So, I encourage him that we are so close to being done and that he has done so awesome. We finally get to the end of his schooling for the day and he jumps out of his seat and says “can I have a pop sickle now?” this was the reward I promised him if he stayed focused and finished his schoolwork without complaining. “Yes,” I replied, and he ran inside to pick out his pop sickle. I said all that to say this, God doesn’t put us through a lesson for a time in our lives for nothing. Learning new things can be tough. We lose our patience, we get to the end of our attention span, we get restless with staying where we are, taking our time, but through all that we go through during a learning process, we gain information, we gain more patience, we get knowledge on a subject or part of ourselves we never knew before and at the end, if we choose to endure, we will be rewarded.
 

God has a way of bringing us through situations we would never plan for ourselves otherwise, but because we go through these things, we learn, we grow, we will be more prosperous and all the wiser. I want to bring us to a story in the Bible, a man named Jonah. Jonah was a man of God. He heard God’s voice say that he wanted Jonah to go to Ninevah, a city that was full of wickedness and hatred. But when Jonah heard this, he knew he did not want to go to that city. So, he fled and got on a boat to Tarshish. But God had other plans and wanted to teach Jonah to trust and follow him, so he sent for a great wind to thrash the boat this way and that. The men on the boat asked who had upset God so that he would do such a thing to them, Jonah came forth and gave up himself to them. Reluctantly, they threw Jonah overboard in order to please God and therefore stop the storm, and God did. But God had sent a fish to swallow Jonah whole. Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for 3 days and 3 nights. Jonah, while in the belly of the great fish, began to pray unto God. He knew he was disobeying God’s word and God was trying to wake him up to his wrongdoing. Just as God wanted to open Jonah’s eyes to see that the people of Ninevah needed him, God wants to open our eyes to things as well. We sometimes try to push him out, try to ignore his still small voice because what God asks of us can be scary or take us out of our comfort zones, but as Jonah did, we must also cry out unto God for forgiveness and strength. Jonah realized God wasn’t going to let him walk away from his call, so once Jonah began to ask for God’s forgiveness, God had the fish spit Jonah out of his belly. Jonah then made his way to the city of Ninevah and began to speak what the Lord wanted for him to speak, and the people of Ninevah listened and turned from their wicked ways. But here’s where the story gets really good. Jonah sees that God forgave the people of Ninevah and get’s angry. He thinks that God forgave them because of their own doing and begins to argue with God that he went to Ninevah for no reason. God shows Jonah patience during this time and begins to ask Jonah why he was angry? Didn’t Jonah want for God to save the people? Jonah continues with his anger and goes out of the city. God plants a gourd to grow over Jonah for shade, again showing his love and patience toward a child of his who was angry toward him and continues to talk with Jonah about the people of Ninevah.

​Through Jonah’s story, we see countless times when God was patient, forgiving, loving, and kind even though Jonah was disobedient, unforgiving, angry and impatient with not only God but also with the people of Ninevah. God took Jonah through a situation in order to show and teach him that God’s forgiveness is unending, his love is for everyone, even those who are wicked and cruel, that he will go to great lengths to get us on the right path and give us the best life we could have. We will disobey God, we will try to run from his calling, we will try to ignore his voice when he speaks to us. Why do we do these things? Because God will ask us to step away from what we are used to, to step out of the covering we have made for ourselves and to step into His covering he has for us. God wants nothing more than to lead and guide us, grow and teach us, keep and love us. It is up to us to follow and be led by Him. If we do, we will be rewarded, just as Jonah’s work was rewarded by God’s forgiveness toward the wicked people of Ninevah. Although we may not understand it at the time, God has a purpose and a plan for each and every one of us and at the end of our journey, we will be rewarded for all of our sacrifice, hard work, and enduring, with all of eternity being laid at our feet. That’s all God wants, eternity with us. That is our reward. Let us walk into our calling and unto God covering. 

 

He gives us Roots so we can Fly. Roots and Wings.