I can tell we need a change of pace.
Here is the face of a happy boy. Do you want to know why? The reward found in obedience.
This week we have been studying insects at home. Mostly focusing on ants, ladybugs and bees.
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord and not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 3:23-24
A challenge was given at the start of the week. If Brother would agree to do a hard project (beyond the regular stuff) every day for the remainder of our study on insects, he would be rewarded for it. He was not told what the reward would be or when he would receive it. He accepted the terms with a happy heart. The week included helping daddy dig holes for landscaping in the front yard, helping Mom sort (by family member) loads of clean laundry before I folded them, etc. He never complained about the task given to him for each day. He accepted it and completed it to the best of his ability. Throughout the week I would reference the verse and the words to remember ("I am a wise child, so I work hard"). We would talk about the insects we were studying and thank God at the end of our lessons for the amazing example he gave us in his creation of these tiny hard working bugs for his glory.
Today the kids and I went to Walmart to pick up some ice cream (Do we need a reason?) after dinner. Brother asked for some toy before we even walked through the door (which is usually unlike him). We started talking and I reminded him of the week behind us. How he had worked hard and this was when he would receive his reward. He lost his mind with excitement. "I get to have it?" he asked. "Yes!" I replied with all joy to give it to him. It cost $11.
We found the anticipated gift and he couldn't stop thanking me for it. I reminded him that he earned it. He did the hard work (just like the insects) not knowing when the reward would come and he did it for God's glory. He probably thanked me 20 times before we even left the parking lot. My heart was overflowing and my mind was racing.
God asks us all to do the hard thing. To walk in obedience hanging on to the promise that we WILL receive our reward which will ultimately be with Him in heaven. We obey Him because we love him and we trust his Word. And wouldn't you know it but he longs to bless us for our obedience? In fact it brings him joy to see us blessed. Because when we obey and receive his blessings we can't help but overflow with thanks to our faithful Father. He reminds us that this was his plan all along. If only we would trust him that doing the hard work in obedience would be so rewarding.
So tonight a little boy sleeps clutching an Obi-Wan Kenobi action figure and Freeco Bike (whatever that is...must be from an episode I haven't seen yet). His Mom sits here pondering all SHE learned from a four year old's school lesson.
I know my reward is in heaven but I also trust that God wants to bless my obedience here on earth. The hard part can be accepting his task for each new day with a happy heart and completing it to the best of my ability not knowing when the reward will come.