This morning I read a devotional from a book, God Calling by A.J. Russell.
“Spend more time alone with Me [God]. A strength and a Joy come from such times that will add much to your friendship, and much to your work. Times of prayer are times of growth. Cut those times short and many well-filled hours of work may be profitless. Heaven’s values are so different from the values of earth. Remember that from the point of view of the Great Worker, one poor tool, working all the time, but doing bad work is of small value compared with the sharp, keen, perfect instrument, used only for a short time but which turns out perfect work.”
After a tiring week at work, this is what I needed to hear. My work is in the business of loving and teaching children. It is often tiring. Loving twenty-six children daily. I often feel far from good at it. I often feel that I fail in this delicate work. It is in these times that weariness comes. In my earthly self, I have limited energy to give. As I was reminded, God’s Spirit will work in me when I have no energy left. I need to seek it out and open myself to let the Spirit work. Challenging in a self-focused place. I remember times in ministry when my heart was open, when prayer enveloped each part of my day. At camp, where I worked for a summer, the day started with devotional time alone with God, then collective worship, then more devotional time alone with God, then prayer, then prayer with my ministry team, then prayer with my counselor team, then prayer with the children, then more prayer. At every transition point, we prayed. We prayed that God would protect,that God would provide, that God would lead, that God would minister to the campers, that God would use us to do His work. How do I do that in teaching? I pray alone. Or I find other teachers who will pray with me. Before school, during recess, lunch. Stop, close my eyes when I feel my patience slipping away at any other point. Stop, close my eyes when I see that they’re not understanding and frustration is building. Pray in gratitude as well. It’s my first reaction to look at what’s going badly rather than what is succeeding. The only perfect work is work in which God is in control and I am merely His tool.