There have been instances when I have worked on a project for an extended period of time and put so much effort into it and yet still not see the desired result. Usually, somewhere in the middle of the process I begin to struggle to see any real success and I think, “Is it worth it?” I remember asking myself that question a few years ago when I was trying to remove some wall paper in a room my wife wanted to remodel. The tedious effort it took to scrap all those tiny pieces made me question this whole idea to remodel the room. But my wife, who has an eye for this sort of thing, pushed me to keep going. I needed to stay focused and trust her. She did know how to make this room look much better if I just diligently followed her plan even when I didn’t understand it.
It’s one thing if the task is removing old wall paper but if you are praying for a loved one who is far from God or languishing in some other spiritual quandary, the question of whether or not all your effort is worth it has deeper consequences.
Have you ever thought about the effort Abraham put into his work for God? As you read the early verses of Genesis 12 you see how he moved his family, took everything he had and left an area where he was comfortable. Some people see him as a leader of that area – Ur of the Chaldeans. When God told Abraham to move, He only gave him a general idea of where he was to go. Then God told him how even in his old age, he was going to have a son.
Abraham convinces his wife Sarah, that moving is a good thing to do and they pack up, heading off for parts unknown. They eventually end up in Canaan, but still no son. For years, they wait on God. They serve Him, honor Him and obey Him – at least most of the time. (There’s that little incident in Egypt, but that is another lesson).
Still no son.
I sometimes wonder if Abraham – meaning “Father of a Multitude” – ever asked himself, “Is it worth it?” Has all this effort been worth it?
Of course we know the end of the story. God did honor His promise and Abraham did in fact become the Father of Multitudes.
There is a verse in Isaiah that can be a great source of encouragement for us when we begin to wonder, is it worth it?
So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth. It shall not return to Me void. But it shall accomplish what I please and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. – Isaiah 55:11 NKJV (emphasis mine)
When we begin to wonder about the struggle of serving Him, remember that verse.
When we wonder if all the time in prayer for our family is worth it, remember that verse.
When we get discouraged and tired, remember that verse.
When we see evil all around us, remember that verse.
When we wonder if our diligent efforts have been largely ignored, remember that verse.
When we ask ourselves, “Is it worth it?”, remember that verse.
While I struggled with the task of removing that old wall paper and couldn’t really imagine how the final product would look, I had to trust my wife on this project. At the end of all the scrapping, the sanding, the dry wall mud repairs and the painting, I was able to finally see what she could all along. The room looked much better and at the end of all our effort, I could say, “It was worth it.” It required me to trust her and keep going even when I questioned her idea. We too must trust Him, even when it seems like wasted effort and can’t see the end.
All your prayers, your obedience, your patience, your diligence do not go unnoticed. It may take a very long time, but it is worth it. God honors His word and our faithfulness pleases Him.
Keep praying, keep trusting, keep being obedient, keep believing and keep scrapping away that wall paper and hang in there because, yes, it is worth it.
Blessings My Friend