15 She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
Most pastors would agree that it’s difficult to find and keep volunteer workers in the church. That’s why many churches have turned to paid workers as a more reliable work force.
I get it. People are busy and lack the time to commit to thankless jobs like working in the nursery or teaching a Bible class.
I suppose, back in the day, folks didn’t work as hard and they had more free time on their hands. Or did they?
Our focus text from Proverbs 31 gives us an overview of the toil of a woman in Biblical times. She arose before sunrise, prepared food for the family, purchased land, and used the money she earned to plant a vineyard. Sounds pretty busy to me.
Since I’ve been on this earth for a considerable length of time, I recall the hard work of my grandparents. They, too, worked from before sunup to sundown and most of their labor was physically demanding.
Jump ahead a couple of generations. I still work more than 40 hours a week, even though the government has labeled me retired. The old folks used to tell me they worked harder in retirement than they did during their employment years. Now I understand what they meant.
Oh, and that argument about women having it easier before they joined the work force. You know, the cushy life of stay-at-home moms. Ask anyone of them if there was enough work to keep them busy. I can’t recall my grandmother ever working outside the home. But she worked harder than most. When I look back on it, it’s hard to imagine how she did it all.
My point is that people have always been busy. Earning a living, going to school, and caring for a home and family has always been tough.
But despite our busyness, God’s plan for faithful servants hasn’t changed. Those of us who belong to Christ have been entrusted with a task. The Lord doesn’t ask that we do it all, just our part. The Apostle Peter put it like this: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10) Be selective based on your gifts. Find something that fits your spiritual skill set and get to work.
In Romans 12, Paul shares a partial list of spiritual gifts and explains how they can be used in Christian service.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8
Where do you see yourself fitting into the work of the Kingdom? What is your job? If you can’t answer those questions then ask the Lord to reveal your service description.
God didn’t call you to be an island and use His grace solely for your benefit.
Many Christians are shy and prefer to stay behind the scenes. Others are incapacitated due to poor health or advanced age. But as long as we have been blessed with a good mind we can still serve the Lord by praying for others. Ask your pastor or someone in your church to supply you with a prayer list.
May God bless you richly as you make time to serve Jesus Christ.
For more on this topic, check out this article: Spiritual Gifts for Dummies
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.