You Did the Job You Were Told to Do.
You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
“Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience.”
1 Timothy 1:18-19a
Dad’s old World War II army uniform hangs in the closet, a mute reminder of a war that changed history. Epic battles were fought all over the world, the numbers of men and machines used to fight these battles were mind boggling, and our nation’s resources were stretched beyond what anyone could have imagined.
But such a gigantic struggle means that the individual sacrifices were also enormous. Men were asked to serve in ways that demanded courage, ingenuity, integrity. How did these citizen soldiers, these young men from farms and small towns and cities all over America perform such legendary feats?
Over and over again, when a soldier was later asked how he endured hardships and suffering, he simply said, “You did the job they told you to do.” My dad was no different. When I would ask him how he managed during the war, he said, “I did the job they told me to do.”
Simple but profound, that statement. There was a task given, the soldier accepted the task, and he did it. It might mean staying awake at guard duty, jumping out of an airplane, lining up for roll call, or shining your shoes. The job was given, you accepted it, and you did it. The job might have been physically challenging, emotionally difficult, or merely routine, but a man accepted the job and did it.
The Christian life is much the same. My job was given me in my confirmation verse in 1969, “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10b) The job is simple but profound – be faithful unto death. Or as our verse above says, “…holding on to faith and a good conscience.”
Do you accept this job? To be faithful to Him in every command and direction that He gives? Will you respond to this command to be faithful unto death and do the job, whatever it may involve? For as the hymn says, “the fight is fierce, the warfare long”. The struggle to hold fast will be overwhelming. But we do not fight alone: “Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might; Thou Lord, their captain in the well fought fight; Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true light.”
Our Lord Jesus Christ is not some far away general who relays orders through subsidiaries. He is in the fight with you and me, and bears on his body the scars of the nails, the spear, the whip and the thorns. He gives you no job in which He will not be present with you, and give you faith unto the end.
Lord Jesus, give me courage in the fight of faith to do the job you have given me. Do not leave me nor forsake me, for I am often weak and full of doubt. Hold fast to your soldier of faith, strengthen my weak knees and resolve, and keep me in the one true faith until that day you take me home to be with you forever. Amen.
Picture and Text Copyright Steve Nickodemus