Is It Worth It?

Is it worth it?  This question is often asked when times are hard, and we are discouraged and confused.   It is asked by mothers struggling with a handful of little ones, pastors whose flocks are apathetic, and teachers with unruly, failing students.  In fact, this question was the topic of a dinner conversation a week ago.  Is what we are doing here in Central Asia worth it?  Are we making a difference?  It is not like we expect miraculous results but a little more gratitude and maybe a little progress might be nice.   Maybe you can relate?  You are a mom, a teacher, a social worker, a minister, or in any position where you feel like you serve and serve but is it worth it?

I have been thinking about this question,”Is it worth it?”.  It would be nice to have an answer to this question.  Yes, it is worth it because of this, this, and this.  No, it is not worth it so it is time to leave.  I don’t have a good answer partly because I think it is the wrong question.   As an American,  I like to see results.  As a Christian, I want to be a good steward of the resources God has given me.  As a teacher, I want to see my students learn and go on to make their own difference.  As a worker in this foreign land, I want to see things change for the better not get worse which brings us back to the question, “Is it worth it?”  Is that really the question we should be asking?   What if instead we asked, “God, am I daily doing what you want me to do?”  “Am I being faithful to my calling?”

I don’t think we can fairly ask the question, “Is it worth it?” because we are unable to see the whole picture.   Only God knows what is going on in the hearts of the people we work with daily.   Only God knows what the final results will be.  Only God knows the purpose of my role here in this place. What if my role is to be obedient, to be the best wife, mom, and teacher, I can be even when times are hard?   What if it is me that needs to be changed?  When I am focusing on results, my eyes are on me and what I am doing.  When I am focusing on God, my eyes are on God and what he is doing in me and through me.   With my eyes on God, I can walk in obedience leaving the results up to Him.   Of course that is easier said than done.   I am reminded of Jeremiah who was the weeping prophet who never saw results in his time.  Then there is Abraham who was to be the father of many but did not see the results in his lifetime.  Or what about faithful few during the years between Malachi and the NT waiting for the Messiah to come.  What results were they seeing?

So for me,  I am asking God what He has for me today?  In what areas of my life, am I to be more obedient?  It also comes back to my word for this year WORSHIP.   It is when I spend time in worship that I know better who God is and what He requires of me.  It is in worship that the questions like “Is it worth it?” are answered.

Dear God, Thank you that you are sovereign and over all things.  Nothing escapes you.  You know us in our weakness and still love us.  You are patient when our focus is off of you.  You give grace to our failings.  Forgive me for taking my eyes off of you.  Forgive me for trying to do things in my own strength.  Give me guidance for this day.   Help me to be faithful in the big and little things.  May I seek you each day and clearly hear your voice.  In Jesus name, Amen.