This verse has been my "life verse" ever since I was a little girl. My parents gave me a plaque that said my name on it followed by me name's meaning- steadfast- and then 1 Corinthians 15:58.
I grew up with this verse memorized and tucked into my heart. Always give fully of myself. Don't give up. Keep serving. It is not in vain.
|My family after church one Sunday~ I'm the littlest!|
In college, I had this verse as a border around my room. When the door opens in the middle of the night for a hurting girl on my floor- be steadfast! When the alarm clock goes off at 6 AM on a Saturday in another girl's room and that girl is out of town for the weekend- abound in the work of the Lord! When girls are struggling-your labor is not in vain!
Over the past 15 years of ministry by my husband's side, I have continued to hold this verse close to my heart. Our work for the Lord is never in vain. Even when we are exhausted or feel that we are accomplishing nothing, it is not in vain.
|My Greatest Ministry...|
But as I looked at the prompt from Lisa-Jo last night, I realized that for my entire life, I have overlooked the beginning of this verse. My Beloved. It has stopped me in my tracks. I have been really good at working hard- even to the point of burn out at times. But do I really understand that God calls me his Beloved? I don't think I do.
And then, I read Psalm 18 this morning...
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
He rescued me because he delighted in me. vs. 16-19
These words were like a balm for my soul. As I pondered them, I let it sweep over me- this truth that the Lord HAS delighted in me. All of my work, all of my striving had put me in a place where I was dry. I had worked so hard and while I truly believe that the work was not in vain, I had been hurt, overlooked, rejected and spit out. And then... he brought my family into a spacious place.
|Lindsay and our yard...|
And I believe that He has lovingly been teaching me that I am His beloved. He delights in me. He rejoices over me with singing. Not because I am steadfast. Not because I am abounding in His work. No! He calls me Beloved and because I am beloved, my life will abound with service to Him. It's not the other way around.
Today, I accept that my Father calls me His Beloved! What a marvelous gift! What freedom! What joy in this knowledge!
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love, knows not God for God is love." ~1 John 4:7,8
Linking with Lisa-Jo Baker today for Five Minute Friday- my favorite link up of the week. This week, our challenge was to write for 5 minutes on the prompt "Beloved". Join us?