A Word of Encouragement from Elizabeth Handford

I was caring for a child whose mother had suddenly abandoned her family. The father was desperately looking for ways to make sure the children were cared for, so that day I watched the 5-year-old while the two older children were in school.

At the lunch table the little boy said, “My tummy hurts,” and he ran for the bathroom. I wasn’t surprised that the child was upset. His mother had disappeared without telling him goodbye, and his whole world had turned upside down.

I heard him vomiting, so I ran toward the bathroom to help him. In my haste, I didn’t see the mess he’d made on the bathroom floor. I skidded across the room, skinned my knees, and found myself covered with yucky slime. The child stood, with absolute terror on his face. I realized he was afraid of how I would react.

I picked myself up and grinned at him. “I was showing off. Pretty good, huh? Here, honey, let me get you cleaned up. I’ll give you something to settle your tummy, and you can take a nap.” I put him in clean clothes and tucked the covers around him. He sighed a tentative smile and went to sleep. Then I tackled the mess in the bathroom and cleaned myself up. And, somehow, I didn’t feel the disgust I’d expected. It almost seemed like holy ground because I was helping a frightened little boy for Jesus’ sake.

The truth is, every task of life has some part of drudgery and boredom, no matter the glamour of the pay check or the fulfillment of a job well done. For years I sobbed out my heart to God, asking Him to give me a baby. When at long last I held that sweet child in my arms, how was I to know that motherhood came with a package of things I’d have to do that I wouldn’t enjoy? How many things did you do today, not because you wanted to do them, certainly not because they were important or enjoyable, but simply because they had to be done?

The Word of God tells us the Lord Jesus stripped Himself of His garments in order to perform that lowliest of a slave’s tasks, washing the dirty, smelly, sweaty feet of twelve men too proud to do the task for each other.
When Jesus was done, He said, “You call me Master and Lord: and you say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:13-15).

Then He added the words that can forever make lowly tasks endurable: “If you know these things, happy are you if you do them” (John 13:17).

That makes it so I can’t use the word “important” or “unimportant” to describe each task God has given me to do each day. If I am doing exactly what God told me to do, I will find joy and fulfillment even in the most unsavory, dreariest job.

Jesus promises such a sweet reward to those who complete lowly tasks simply because they are following Him. Matthew 10:42 42 says,

And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones
because he is my disciple,
I tell you the truth,
he will certainly not lose his reward.

If you love the Lord Jesus, and you tackle even the most distasteful task because you love Him, God notes it well, and reserves a special reward for you. And that makes the lowliest, most difficult task a holy task. And that, dear friend, is why you can learn to like doing whatever God has given you to do today.