Summary: God will reward His servants on time and in full!
I have read from time to time about soldiers getting medals decades after they performed that acts that earned them. I am sure that they had figured that what they had done had been forgotten by this time as even their memories of the events were fading. Some soldiers had died so they never knew they were finally recognized but the award meant a great deal to loved ones and friends.
There are times as we serve the Lord that we wonder if anyone notices us, especially the Lord. We wonder if anything we are doing is making any impact at all. Then out of the blue someone comes up and makes a comment or we get a letter telling us how much something we said or did meant to someone and we are shocked, amazed, humbled and thankful that we did not quit when we felt so unappreciated or that we were a complete failure wasting our time.
Just recently, I got two rewards in one day. I had not been sleeping well due to a cough that would not allow me to lie down. I almost called in sick, but fell back on my military training and went in anyway. When people leave our organization they have to come by the computer room and sign out to be sure that we terminate their access. My temporary office is in that area. In walked a lady that I had not seen in two years. Back then she had been the physical therapist that was working with my pastor. He spoke so highly of her that I went to meet her and thank her for caring for him so well. I gave her a copy of my book, “The Power of Holy Women” and really did not get to see her again until she was clearing that day.
She saw me and said that she just had to give me a hug. She told me that she had just read my book a few months ago when she had been on bed rest and said it was right on time for her. She and her husband were going to be divorced, but after reading the book she realized that she had not guarded her husband’s heart and had made some mistakes. She said that they had reconciled and thanked me for the book that she had passed on to a single friend in DC saying that she needed to read it before she got married. I gave God the glory and called my wife and pastor to relate the story with tears of gratitude to God for using me when I had been feeling so useless and thought about quitting the ministry.
In my secular job, kudos are as rare as they are in ministry. The same day a lady from our higher headquarters was passed to me for assistance. The first words she said was I was told that you would know this. In, fact every time I call over there I hear that you will know. She asked if I ran the place and I replied that I am just a peon. She replied that isn’t the way she heard it. We talked a little and I found out that she was a Christian active in a local church and I did have the answer she needed. I have known that lady’s name for fifteen years but that was the first time we actually talked and I knew that she even knew I existed. It was nice to know that my name was spoken of favorably at a higher echelon and that my work was noticed.
Like those soldiers, we often receive rewards late or not at all. We may labor intensely for the Lord at the church and our job and wonder if anyone even notices or if we are really making any kind of impact. We wonder if we really do have the gift we have been exercising because nothing seems to happen and we get discouraged and just go through the motions out of duty. Joy seems to be lacking.
Duty is a good thing and more people need to know what that means because many Christians would be court-martialed for dereliction of duty were they in the military and were the goldbrickers they are in the Lord’s army. Duty is a good thing but having a vision will motivate you and satisfy more than duty ever will.
Prov 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (KJV)
People need to be able to envision goals or progress whether they are doing their paid job or their ministry. If they lack direction, they get bored, irritable and lackadaisical and ultimately quit. At the workplace, it should be management that is giving you that vision though a Christian works for God 24/7 and needs to have the Lord direct him/her in the fine points of how to fulfill the will of God while at the same time pleasing the lesser Boss.