What does one really get from hard work?
I have thought about this in connection with all the various kinds of work God has given to mankind. Everything is appropriate in its own time. But though God has planted eternity in the hearts of men, even so, many cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end. So I conclude that, first, there is nothing better for a man than to be happy and enjoy himself as long as he can; and second, that he should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of his labors, for these are gifts from God. Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 (TLB)
Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)
R.G. Wood is from Ohio. Earlier in his career as a speech-language pathologist, he received yearly contracts to work in a particular school district. One year, when July rolled around, he had no contract. Reluctantly, he took work at a nursing facility. He was deeply unsatisfied, but his wife told him repeatedly, "It's only for a season."
In March of that year, his wife discovered a lump in her breast. Over the next 10 months, they went to dozens of doctors' appointments and treatments. They prayed constantly. Eventually, his wife's initial treatment was complete. She was cancer-free!
R.G. missed only two of her medical appointments during those months. Working at the nursing facility made that possible because his schedule was flexible. Had he worked at a school, he wouldn't have been able to be with his wife when she needed him most. R.G. believes that by putting him in the nursing facility, the Lord was nurturing them long before they even realized they needed it. Sometimes when R.G. doesn't understand what God is doing, he thinks about that experience. He remembers that God can use the pieces of his life to help him end up exactly where he needs to be.
Prayer: O Lord, help us to remember that you are forever faithful, even when we can't see the bigger picture, in Jesus' name. Amen.