Living with the End in View

I feel weary these days. My previously people-oriented job has become an on-line class. (“Genet, are you there? Can you unmute your mic?”)

I have recovered from a bout with COVID, but still battle fatigue. My big goal today is to clean the pickle juice out of the bottom of my refrigerator.

Our nation waits for the mass production and distribution of COVID vaccines so that we can return to a new normal, whatever that means.

Now a winter storm grips my state and nearly a week has slipped by focused on staying warm and preparing meals, often without electricity or access to groceries – the enjoyment of backyard grilling tempered by single digit temperatures.

Has the year been wasted? No. I think not. March, 2020 to March, 2021 proves to be a chance to re-orient my thinking.

I don’t know about you, but normally I think a lot about MY plans, MY goals, the things I believe God is directing ME to accomplish. However, a year of low achievement in human terms is an opportunity to reconsider my focus and what it means to follow God.

Hebrews 11 includes the accounts of many God-followers who lived by faith. The author lists many well-known Bible heroes, as well as many unnamed heroes who were tortured or martyred or wandered in poverty, without homes. Yet Hebrews 11:39 includes some chilling words about these amazing men and women: “And these all were commended for their faith, yet they did not receive what was promised.”

They didn’t receive what was promised? How can this be?

Well, they were doing the same thing we are all called to do in Hebrews 12:1-2—to live faithfully with the end in view. My friend who energetically teaches memory verses to preschoolers doesn’t know how God is going to use those verses in their lives. My co-worker who is untangling the care of her aging father doesn’t know the eternal significance of her actions and the testimony they are to others. And I don’t know how teaching English over Zoom is going to equip the refugees I work with.

 Kevin Bennet, my church’s Young Adults Director put it this way, “To be a part of something bigger than yourself means you won’t see the end of it.” Our work involves smaller, interim goals, but God is all about building his kingdom.

Our job is to live faithfully focused on the example of our Savior who endured pain and loss for the joy set before Him.

Updated 2.18.2022.

Photo credit: “Finish Line – 2011 Eugene Marathon” by ex_magician is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Beth Barron and her husband have worked cross-culturally for 32 years, first in the Middle East and now in the U.S. She teaches English to refugees and uses her writing skills to advocate for them. Beth enjoys writing, biking, vegetable gardening and connecting heart to heart with other women. She is involved in her church's External Focus ministry. She and her husband have three adult children, two daughters-in-love and three grandsons. Beth graduated from Rice University in Houston and is committed to life-long learning.

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