I have mentioned several times the wonderful Bible study I had the opportunity to be a part of this summer at my church called, Bloom. I think it was on the first night our wonderful pastor's wife shared this concept from a devotional she was reading, "Hidden Gems from the Greek" by Rick Renner. Here is an excerpt from the book and a part of what she read to us.
The Attitude for Success - by Rick Renner
"In 1 Corinthians 4:1, Paul wrote - Let a man so account of us, as the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
In this verse Paul calls himself a minister. This is the Greek word hupertas, a vivd term that conveys"the essential attitude necessary to get the job done."
Interestingly, this word hupertas, translated "ministers" here was used in classical Greek society to describe "low class criminals."
- Why would Paul use such a word?
- Is he using the word as a picture to make a point to us?
Originally, this word described the very lowest class of criminals. These criminals were so low that they were outcast and removed from society. Often they were assigned to the bottom galleys of huge shipping vessels where they literally became the engine's on those huge ships.
They were sentenced the rest of their lives in the darkness below the deck-endlessly rowing and rowing and rowing. Day after day their job was to heave those massive oars back and forth, pushing them through the water to make the ship move through the sea.
This is the same word that Paul uses as the attitude necessary to do what God has called us to do! God has called us to take our place in His plan - to grab hold of an oar, so to speak, and to begin to serve Him practically in some way. We are to keep rowing, rowing, rowing, and rowing doing our part and fulfilling what He has asked us to do."
Since hearing that concept whenever I am really having a struggle I think of that picture. Of just putting my head down and rowing, and rowing for God. Lately I have really had that picture in my head when it comes to parenting.
My Max is the sweetest boy. But, he is a hard little guy to raise. Lately, we have really had some issues coming back with his fits and tantrums. It has been very rough. It is easy to get discouraged. And it is really easy to get very down and just see myself as a failure as a mom. But, the truth is, I am not a bad mom... I am just an American girl who likes instant results! Ha! But, in this situation that is not happening. But, instead of being discouraged, I know I need to just keep rowing, and rowing, and rowing. I need to be diligent in doing what I need to do.
But, it is hard to be the one rowing at the bottom of a large ship. It is not glamorous. No one really knows what you are doing so you don't get any praise. And the worst part... you can't see the shore. So you keep rowing and rowing not knowing if you will reach the shore in an hour, or tomorrow, or 5 weeks from now.
Dealing with Max's behavior is hard right now because I can't see the shore. I don't know if we will get past this next week, or in a few months, or maybe not until his eighteenth birthday. But, I believe the diligence will pay off at some point. I believe that our diligence as Mom's WILL pay off. And I believe our diligence in serving Christ in all that we do will pay off.
For most of us who are Christ loving moms we rarely get to see the shore in the things that we do. We often are the ones that stay home and care for our children, serve in the nursery at church, take meals to new moms or sick people. We are often at the bottom of the ship rowing and rarely getting to see the end results of what we are doing. But, Jesus sees what we are doing. And He knows who we are doing it for. We just need to remember who we are doing it for. Although I will be very happy when Max's behavior is better (life will be easier for ALL of us!) but, at the end of the day, I am doing it for Jesus. And Jesus will get me to the shore every time.