Today I am chopping a very large amount of nuts for a recipe. Chop, chop, chop. For awhile I was exerting quite a bit of pressure and really going at the work. Then something occurred to me: I have a really sharp knife. In fact, Kelly sharpened it for me just now. (Thanks Casey and Michelle for the knife sharpener!)
Anyway, I noticed that I was very tense. My shoulders were all tight and I was using so much force to chop at these nuts. I thought to myself, I need to let this sharp knife do the work. Why am I exhausting myself for no reason?
I could've kept on going the way I was. But instead I relaxed my shoulders and eased up. I started letting the knife do the work and I was just using smooth movements that were easy and basically effortless.
Now of course the result would've been the same. Whether I used up all my energy or not, the nuts would've been chopped and I would eventually enjoy the fruits of my labor. But this way, the work gets done and I enjoy the fruit and I am NOT exhausted by it. It becomes an enjoyable task instead of a tiresome chore.
Maybe you know where I am going with this. But my mind took me right to thinking of my relationship with God and the work that we are doing here in Zambia. I can just go at this work here in Lusaka, putting in all my effort and tensely and hurriedly keeping up with all of our tasks. I can chop, chop, chop away at all the projects on our plate and end up exhausted and joyless. I can spend all my time working hard trying to gain something or prove something or just trying to avoid being a failure.
OR, I can let the sharp knives I've been given do the work. I can let God's Word work in my life and share it with others. I can let his holy Spirit work in me and through me. I can consider the work God calls me to each morning and thank him for it. And most of all I can accept the work that Jesus Christ has already done on my behalf by dying for my sins!!!! And accept the life he gives me because he himself was raised to life!!!! I don't have to do that work. I don't have to earn my salvation by winning the approval of others or of God because he already loves and accepts me because of Jesus. YES!!!!! That is such a sharp knife!!!!
So I just want to say HAPPY EASTER weekend! He is risen indeed! I pray for you that you are not exhausting yourself trying to do the work that has already been done for you. For it is by faith that we are saved and not by works. Thank you God for your mercy and grace poured out for us.