Saturday, October 02, 2010

Fruit That Doesn't Hide

This last week, I had a bit of a change at work. I was asked to code several parts of one of our newest reports. I have also been given the responsibility to fix the bugs in our software as I find them. For some of you, this may sound like a bad thing, but I actually really enjoy it!

Thus far, my programming has been limited to mostly in-house programming and other tasks anything from running a huge printer and organizing thousands of test booklets into boxes to entering pages of numbers into databases to delivering boxes of tests to schools. I was just thinking today about the work that God has done in my heart over the last several months through these things. I love programming... really everything about it! The Lord saw fit for me to do very little of that in these first few months at work. He gave (through my boss) me many different jobs and responsibilities... many of which I would have said that I do not enjoy at all! Yet, through these things, He has showed me that the joy of the Lord is not based on circumstances. It is not based on my job, the people I work with, the tasks I'm asked to do, how my car is running, if life is going "as planned", etc. The joy of the Lord is based strictly on knowledge of His complete faithfulness and full contentment with what He has given. I am very thankful for His wisdom in not just giving me exactly what I wanted right away, but rather using these circumstances to make my joy a little bit more complete in Him.

True joy in the Lord is not something we can fake. It comes from the heart... and it just flows out in abundance. One of the days at work, I was "stuck" running the printer all day. This job is extremely boring... pressing "print", loading paper, and stacking test booklets. It ended up being one of my favorite days at work... I got to sing to Him almost all day (since no one else was in that office)... got to spend much time in prayer and thinking through things. When was the last time that you had 8 hrs to just think, pray and sing... and got paid to do it!?! The key to this joy is not "just trying harder"... it truly is a work of His grace in my heart to find lasting joy in Him regardless of the circumstances. It starts within the heart and from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks! I see just a glimpse of what Paul was saying in Philippians 4:11.
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
I wish that I could say that for myself, but He is constantly revealing to me areas in which I am not content. I need His continued work in my heart to give me lasting contentment in His grace and faithfulness so that the circumstances in which He places me don't matter when it comes to my joy. His joy will be my strength, for I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!


Hannah Marie said...

Thank you for that wonderful post, Daniel! I remember discussing this a bit with you earlier, and I was pleasantly surprised to find it on your blog as well. What you said is actually a challenge to be, but not in regards to work. It is more of a challenge for me when it comes to doing things, very little and trivial things, that only prepare me for the future and are seemingly unnoticed. I love my job and there isn't much that is asked about me that I don't love there. But, my love for the household chores and tasks of that sort does not always appear or show. So, that's where your words particularly applied with me. :)

Hannah Marie

Amber Noella said...

So inspiring! Sometimes when I read things like this, I get down that I'm not that way, but I think that's the whole point of grace & God's strength: He has it when I don't!

Elsie Anne said...

When was the last time that you had 8 hrs to just think, pray and sing... and got paid to do it!?!

Haha, that made me completely and utterly jealous. :P The joy of the Lord is our strength, but we cannot possess that joy if we are focusing on our own strengths and accomplishments instead of focusing on His faithfulness. Even when the world would say that our lives are going about as badly as they could be we can say:

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Daniel Osborne said...

@Amber, yes... you are absolutely right. It is in depending on Him that we are able to respond in God-honoring ways to difficult circumstances. He has proved Himself to be far beyond faithful... our lack of dependence on Him is not due to a shortage of Him displaying His faithfulness... it is simply a lack of faith. That faith ultimately comes from Him as well... through the reading of His Word, we learn more about Him. The hard part is going from the "head knowledge" point to actually trusting Him enough to act based on His Word and trust that He will do what is best.