Work Hard and Rest Harder
A Song of degrees for Solomon.
1Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. 2It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows: For so he giveth his beloved sleep. 3Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: And the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; So are children of the youth. 5Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: They shall not be ashamed, But they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
At first, I asked myself why there seems to be such disunity in this short Psalm. The first couple of verses talk about the vanity of labor without the Lord’s blessings. The idea is that excessive labor can’t make up for an absence of the Lord’s blessings in one’s life.
On the other hand, this passage teaches us that since all blessings come from our Creator then the laborer should be able to trust the Lord and leave more in his hands. I believe those first few verses are teaching us to work hard but then rest hard in our Heavenly Father’s care.
The disunity seems to come in the subject matter of the last three verses.
The point seems to change to parenting and the blessing of having children. I can through experience give witness to the truth of this passage, children are a wonderful blessing. I have three children for whom I am so incredibly thankful. Truly, they have provided me with much happiness.
My oldest, Daddy’s little girl, still has me wrapped around her finger. That gift from God brought me more family too, her wonderful husband has truly become another son who I have come to love too, and a precious little granddaughter who I adore. My oldest son has always made me laugh whenever I spend time with him. My youngest is a wonderful friend and companion with whom I share many an interest.
Yes, having youngins bring you joy just like the Bible says.
But why the sudden change of the subject?
I really don’t believe there is a change.
A life without God is a waste but so is one that neglects his gracious gifts. Work for God, work with God, and enjoy the people in your life that God gives.
Work hard but make sure you rest hard in his care.
Please heed my warning, don’t waste God’s best blessings, I have and I deeply regret it.
I have worked long hours balancing multiple jobs for my entire adult life and have very little to show for it.
I have gotten up early for so long that I can no longer sleep in and I have stayed up late planning the next day’s labor or the next church service while walking past the most important people in the process.
I have come home so mentally tired that all I want to do is sit in front of a picture box and stare and ignore the ones in my life that mattered most.
I have missed my children’s ball games and school functions and a lot of nights playing in the front yard.
What do I have to show for these sacrifices?
Not much, I wasted most of the money and more importantly, I have wasted the meaningful moments. I have no DeLorean so time travel isn’t possible, but I can do better in the present than I did in my past.
I have determined to do this from now on, work hard and rest even harder on him who died for me, and enjoy the gifts he has so graciously given.
What about you?