Picking Rocks

brown wooden barn on green grass field under white clouds during daytime
But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith. Philippians 1:24-25
We picked rocks for a week on our farm every spring.  It was the dullest job imaginable.  You walk all day through the field picking up rocks about the size of a softball. It took us a week to do all the fields. My mother said that if, after 10 minutes of picking rocks, there was anything about this job that either amused you or confused you, then there was something wrong with you.
Some jobs just don’t end, though the pleasure of the job left long ago. Service can be doing the same job, for the sake of someone else, over and over again. Paul knew about that. He was in prison when he wrote to the Philippians. He wanted to be done, to die, and be with Christ in heaven, Philippians 1:21-23.  That would be much better than remaining on earth, especially being arrested in Rome.
But for the sake of the Philippians and other Christians, Paul stayed. He remained for approximately five more years after this imprisonment. He traveled extensively throughout the Mediterranean, strengthening the churches before his final, martyr’s death.
Perhaps your service is like Paul’s and bit like picking rocks. You would be glad to be done, but you keep on for the sake of others. Others might not even know what it is you’re doing for them. That’s all right as the Father in heaven knows what you do. Also you know that the service you do now won’t go on forever. We will, like Paul, be done at some time and depart to be with Christ which is far better. For now, the work goes on. But soon enough, our last job will be done and we’ll be home.

Our heavenly Father, give us the strength and persistence to continue the work that seems to never end. Remind us that we’re doing this for others and for you. Assure us that there is an end in your sight and you will give us eternal rest when you take us to yourself.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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