I know your deeds and your toil and your perseverance . . . (Revelation 2:2)
No one knows how its claws can tear the soul like the one who for decades gave up a dream, a life, a goal, a purpose . . . .
Thirty. Forty. Years.
Given up to walk instead the walk He charted, only to find at the end of the course what seems ashes and emptiness and loneliness. The hope of something better, the prayers for something precious, the yearning for something beautiful disappear like wisps of smoke in the wind, and the voice on the shoulder taunts:
“What could have been if you’d walked the road you gave up?”
Oh! But like the child who gave his few fish to Jesus and the Lord fed thousands; Like the widow who gave her last pennies to God, and whose story has encouraged millions across the millennia, nothing sacrificed to Jesus is ever useless. No offering ever returns empty. No life or years, no fish or coin – nothing is ever a waste when given to Christ.
He promised it – and He still promises it:
Be steadfast. Immovable. Abounding always in the work of the Lord, because your labor, your sacrifice, your purpose, and perseverance is not now, nor has been, nor will ever be in vain when done for, and offered to, the Lord.*
*see 1 Corinthians 15:58