Time flies.  It just does.  My mother-in-law, Donna, was in the hospital last year.  When she went home she needed someone with her at the house 24 hours a day. Rex, my father-in-law, needed to run some errands so I went and stayed with her.  They have lived in the same house for almost 40 years. It is almost exactly as it was 20 years ago when Chris and I were married except for a few remodeling projects.  The house just makes me happy.  I get the warmest feeling there.  The memories of get togethers and holidays are incredible! 

While my mother-in-law slept I just wandered and looked at the million pictures they have lining their hallway and wall leading to their basement.  The one that I couldn’t quit looking at was when Chris, my husband, was younger.  Their family sat there in the picture with parents and kids the same age as we are now.  They faced the same joys, frustrations, questions and experiences.  Their turn is done with kids in the house.  Now they have 3 children with their spouses and 9 grandchildren to show for it.  Their children are incredible.  They each have a personal relationship with Christ.  They  are faithful, loving, generous and kind.  And I’m one of the blessed ones that gets to be married to one of them. 

But, the picture really hit me.  What is important?  What was on Rex’s and Donna’s mind that day that didn’t matter?  What were the distractions that they were facing? How many of those problems that were so big and distracting that day can be remembered today?  Looking back, what really matters?

The pictures reminded me that I must remain focused on what is important and what has eternal value.  Christ’s perspective should be my perspective.  Colossians 3:1-2 says, “He is your life.  So, if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it.  Pursue the things over which Christ presides.  Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you.  Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ – that’s where the action is.”  See things from His perspective – with His heart and His mind.

1 Thessalonians 1:3 says, “We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

That is it.  Our work that we put into our becoming more like Him is done in faith.  We trust Him with our families, relationships, careers and where He has placed us.  We believe that one day, we will reap what we have sown. 

We trust that the prayers, time, mental and physical energy that we have invested in parenting will pay off and that our kids will become adults that love the Lord with all of their hearts, minds souls and strength.

We believe that what we do and how we respond to circumstances are not done in vain when we react as He would prompt us to.

The 2nd part of the verse is your labor prompted by love.  The reason we do it is because of our love for our families and our love for Christ.  Love takes out fear, selfishness and pride.  We aren’t concerned about what others think.  We are solely concerned about the calling we have received, the gifts we have been given and are determined to reach our full potential in Christ.  It is going to be difficult and uncomfortable.  The stress of it might lead to discouragement.   

But that is where the third part of the verse makes its entry…and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.  The definition for hope in this verse is confidence, eager anticipation, expectation.Romans 5:5 says hope does not disappoint us. 

As we live this life, are obedient to Christ and take His calling seriously, we can wait in eager anticipation of what He is going to do with our relationships, our callings and our future.

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