Sometimes as I’m creating I wonder, does what I’m doing even matter? I mean, really matter. Does it hold any eternal value? And then my refugee friend from Iraq comes over and my perspective quickly shifts. I hear her broken and beautiful English as she reads all the signs and scripture throughout my house. I hear her speak truth out loud. The truth she doesn’t know but I bet is yearning for deep down. The truth that she can be free from all the working and rest in the work of Jesus. And as she speaks it out loud, I hear it too. I hear it in a new way.
“I do not fear because I am His.” She pauses. “What is fear?”, she asks. And that’s where the conversation began. We spoke about our different beliefs about God and the concepts of fear and trust. We even talked about what the gospel means and who each of us believe Jesus to be. The conversations can only go so far with our language barrier and google translate, and then normally it turns into laughter from our misunderstandings. But these conversations are life-giving and affirming. They remind me that if my efforts are with the hope of Jesus being known and praised, it matters. Whether I’m making a chalkboard sign, washing dishes, or going for a walk in the neighborhood, it matters. Whether I’m having a conversation about Jesus, or simply being present with someone, if my desire is for Him, it will never be wasted. Isn’t that what we all hope for? For our efforts to not be a waste? For our work to supply lasting results? Maybe it’s not a visible result, but simply a seed planted. When we fill our hearts and home with scripture it is an eternal seed, an effort with eternal value, and it is never wasted.
“For just as rain and snow fall from heaven
and do not return there
without saturating the earth
and making it germinate and sprout,
and providing seed to sow
and food to eat,
so my word that comes from my mouth
will not return to me empty,
but it will accomplish what I please
and will prosper in what I send it to do.”
Creating is a God-given desire of mine… It is part of how God made me. It is an outlet and it brings me joy. I desire to make my house feel like a home where people of all beliefs feel welcome and at peace. And I’m reminded that when I do it for God, I “go out with joy” and I’m “peacefully guided” just as Isaiah 55 says. Maybe creating or home decor isn’t your thing and that is okay. The point is that if our efforts are for ourselves, it will not satisfy and it will not bring lasting fulfillment. I am always reminded of this when I am engaged in ministry. I’m sure everyone can relate to feeling a different type of satisfaction when you were serving someone. It feels right. It’s our heart’s way of saying Amen! So whether you decide to print out your wedding vows, write truth on a chalkboard, or invite a friend for a walk, may it fill your heart with joy and may you be led forth in the peace of God!
“Why do you spend silver on what is not food,
and your wages on what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and you will enjoy the choicest of foods.”
Photography by Jenn Blackburn Photography