Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Chastening Of The LORD

Well, I had a good sleep yesterday, awoke last night with a much better attitude, after the rotten out-of-sorts attitude I was in the previous night, and went to work thinking I would be a light for my Lord. So much for my good intentions! My team leader assigned me to one job that was done within half an hour of starting my shift. Then he sent me to do another job. I had set it all up and was happily working away when he paged me to his office and then asked me to move to a different job altogether. So I moved, but not without grumbling. Then I was shuffled once again, then yet again which involved following the night 12 hour shift people who left me with a mess to figure out and really had me boiling! That assignment took all of half an hour and then I went back to one of the other jobs I'd had during the night and finished the night there. Talk about a bad attitude! I was grumbling and complaining to beat the band. Not good! When I spoke up about all of this to my team leader, he said that it's because I'm such a versatile worker. My thought was that I thought we were ALL supposed to be versatile and able to switch from one job to another as necessary, but somehow it seems that I'm the one he chooses to do this the most. He said that my versatility was my crutch. At least I think he said "crutch." I didn't see anything positive in THAT.

On the way home, the Holy Spirit began to deal with my heart. Then when I was reading my Bible this morning, He whispered to me that maybe what Dan meant wasn't crutch, but crux. Hmm! So I looked that up. Ouch! Crux is Latin for "cross." It means: "an essential point requiring resolution or resolving an outcome; a main or central feature (as of an argument)." The thought of the cross took me to Luke 9:23 (a verse the Lord has brought to my attention many, many times): "Then He said to them all, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.'" The reminder was clear: I have to deny myself and take up my cross daily, even if my "cross" is my versatility or ability to do any job I am asked to do. But wait! That's not all! I was also reminded of HOW I am to do that. Philippians 2:14-15: "Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world." And Ephesians 6:5-8: "Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free."

I have known for some time that the Lord wants me to honor Him in every area and aspect of my life, which includes my job and my attitudes. I don't practice a "Sunday-go-to-meetin'-only" kind of faith. My faith in the Lord is to impact my life 24/7, to make a difference in EVERY detail of my life. And the last couple of nights, maybe even longer, I've been failing Him where I work--by my attitudes, the words that are prompted by those attitudes and the actions that result from those attitudes. I haven't been much of a "light." Then He gently reminded me of Luke 16:10-11: "He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?" I believe the Holy Spirit wants me to see my employment as the "unrighteous mammon" in these verses. Was I being faithful at work last night? No. I do not want Jesus' words in Mark 7:6 to be true of me: "This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me (quoting Isaiah 29:13)." So I have repented of my sin, because that's exactly what it is, and I have asked Him to help me to honor Him with whole-hearted obedience, even if it means taking up my crux, my versatility, and having to go from one job to another all night every night at work, and to be able to do it with a cheerful, uncomplaining attitude, not finding fault with my team leader or any of my fellow employees. This is what I MUST do if I truly love Him as I say that I do because He said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15)."