Promotions. Something we strive so hard to get so often and yet how far and few the seem to come. Have you ever set a goal and worked really hard towards it – and after months or years – it finally came? Think back to how appreciative you were for it. Because it took hard work and because you had to remain so patient, it was of more value to you.
Here’s another example. You turn 16 and you think you deserve a car. If it’s just given to you, more than likely you aren’t going to wash it, clean the interior, watch for curbs (or other cars). You are going to trash it and care less about it. Now, when you signed your name on the line and you drive that car off the lot… wow! what a feeling. You feel accomplished. You baby that car. You know where every ding and scratch is every time a new one appears. You not only wash it every weekend but you take 3 hours detailing every inch of the interior.
You work at a retail store. You are new and have to do all the grunt work. They tell you to sweep… you sweep. You work the closing shift and you are there the next day when the doors open. You are exhausted but you keep doing it because you have always been taught that hard work pays off. And you believe it will.
And then it happens. You have hit bottom. You believed with all your heart the hard work would pay off – but someone else was promoted to the position you wanted.
We have moments just like this in our spiritual lives. We have moments when we feel we are on a mountain top so close to God you swear you could reach out and touch heaven. And then there are times when you are so low in a valley you can’t even see a path to start the climb up the mountain again. Our prayer lives mirror this. You go to your secret place, everyday, and you pray. Some moments are surreal. You leave that moment thinking, “did I really just experience that?!” Other times you just feel like a blank slate. You couldn’t find the words, you couldn’t get into the moment, you were distracted, you feel like you wasted the last 20 or 30 or 90 minutes. How could God really appreciate that? Just like the retail job – we must push through – so like the new car – we will appreciate the outcome. You may not “feel” anything every single time you pray – but God is watching. He sees you are committed even when you are not “feeling” it. He sees, regardless of how your flesh feels, you are still doing it. You are being obedient. Even though you don’t feel like you have accomplished anything – you still have. You were obedient. And that counts for something to HIM.
Now for the promotion… in my recent experience, this is how I compare it. When we are trying to lost weight, we exercise and eat right but it takes a while to see the difference. One day you just notice your clothes are more lose. You notice you feel better and you run farther. When you receive a spiritual promotion – at least for me – it happens all of a sudden. I noticed I could just hear more all of a sudden in the spiritual realm. All of a sudden I could see more in the spiritual realm. It was awesome. For every single time I felt “dry” and “unaccomplished” in my prayer life but did it anyways… it was worth it.
This is strictly encouragement to tell you, keep going. Keep pressing. Keep reading. Keep praying. Keep doing. Keep pushing. Keep obeying. The reward in the end is worth it.