Doing the Work

blog-stone

by Laura Johnson

“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished. …and every willing man skilled in any craft will help you in all the work.”

In my quiet time a while ago, the devotional was looking at I Chronicles 28, when King David was commissioning his son Solomon to build the temple. Initially I thought it wouldn’t have much bearing on us today – we don’t have a temple – nor are we tasked with building one. But as I have continued to mull about the temple and its purpose, I remembered that we could be considered the “modern” temple because God dwells within us in the person of the Holy Spirit. If this line of reasoning is true, would King David’s command in verse 20 apply?

“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished. …and every willing man skilled in any craft will help you in all the work.”

Could this be (loosely) applied to counseling?

“…do the work…” It is so hard to keep facing the struggles and agonizing over the sin, trying to change the behaviors that are so ingrained. When you have patterns of thinking, of relating, that are a part of your nature, it is difficult to find the strength to want to change. It’s easier to just keep going the way you always have – but it isn’t necessarily the healthiest or best way. But how am I supposed to keep trying? Maybe it isn’t me that has to solve all the issues – maybe I simply need to work on each piece as it is revealed to me, instead of trying to tackle the temple as a whole, all at once.

“He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service… is finished.” Was the apostle Paul thinking of this when he wrote Philippians 1:6? “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Paul’s confidence in who Jesus was and what He would do makes it a little easier to trust that God isn’t finished with us yet. He isn’t bored, frustrated, irritated, or impatient about our progress – He is willing to wait and proceed with gentleness and long-suffering – He knows and understands our limitations. He cares about the process, not just the result.

“…man skilled in any craft will help you in all the work.” At first glance, this may not fit with the idea of counseling, but take a second look. “Skilled… help you in all the work” sure seems to fit with where I’ve been lately! I realized many years ago that there were some areas of my life that weren’t quite right. I read so many books and talked to many different people about possible solutions, but didn’t have a person truly skilled to walk alongside me until more recently. I am grateful. I have learned a lot. I have been made aware of areas that I thought were “whole” but in reality, they were covered over with a thin veneer. A key element is help – coming alongside – for longer than just a visit or two.

“…all the work” implies to me that there is more than meets the eye initially. This is also part of what I’ve discovered while in counseling. What I thought was the problem usually isn’t. Often it is something completely different, that I wasn’t expecting. This process isn’t easy, but God is in it.

“…the Lord God, my God, is with you.”

Advertisements