A few weeks ago, my older son landed his first real job. He's had a small side gig in the past but this is his first "real job". He only works about 8-10 hours a week but as a sophmore in high school who's involved in church, track, student council and of course the coveted social time with friends, those 8-10 hours fill out his schedule pretty well.
The other day he went in to work for a typical 4 hour shift but was asked to stay until the close of day which ended up being just over 6 hours. Now to the average adult, a six hour shift is a cake walk but to a "new to the workforce" sophmore in high school, a six hour shift of being on your feet, doing dishes, bussing tables, mopping bathrooms, etc. just about completely wiped him out.
The other night around 3:00 a.m. as I was in route to the bathroom (I know, that's more information than you needed) I walked past his bedroom to hear him "soundly sleeping". I smiled with the knowledge that he was realizing the value of a hard day's work.
As I headed back to bed and dozed back off into my slumber my mind danced with the thought of, "This is what God calls each of us to". I think God smiles when His children are "soundly sleeping" at the end of a really long day. I don't think God is interested in just tiring people out but when we spend the day or the week or the season pouring ourselves out into His Kingdom work and we find ourselves worn out, exhausted and emotionally spent, I believe God rewards His children with well deserved rest.
As I dozed off, I wondered how often people find themselves in a restless state? Figuratively speaking, we toss and turn, we seek rest, we search for peace, we long for a season of refreshment and an opportunity to be re-energized and yet perhaps we've skipped the first step in that process: pouring ourselves out.
You see when we pour ourselves out for God's purposes, God rewards us with rest.
"For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do." Hebrews 6:10 (NLT)
I love the clarity of this verse, "God will not forget how hard you have worked for Him..."
"Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” Luke 6:38 (NLT)
We usually equate this passage with all things financial but let's think about this verse from the standpoint of time served. God is more than able to give back abundantly more than we have poured out in service to His Kingdom. When we pour ourselves out, He brings rest. When we pour ourselves out, He brings refreshment. When we pour ourselves out, He brings a restful nights sleep.
Perhaps we sometimes shy away from pouring ourselves out for fear that we'll not be able to find the needed rest? Perhaps we shy away because we've convinced ourselves that we're already too tired?
Living a lifestyle of service to others is tiring but when you pillow your head at night you can rest in the comfort that only God can bring to those who have poured themselves out for Him. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.