If you are like me then at the end of everyday you have an email inbox that isn’t quite empty. There is always another client to help or another project that needs completed. Sometimes, it’s waiting for someone to get back to you so you can complete your work. I find it hard to rest at times like these. My head lays down on the pillow and my mind races with what I will do tomorrow. I often wonder, “Will tomorrow finally be the day when my work is done?” Sadly, this day has not yet come.
But what about Jesus? If there was anyone who had a heavenly mission that lasted forever it must certainly be Jesus, right? I can imagine at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry his “inbox” was empty. (Actually, his mother even sent him a quick message before he was “hired” and asked one small favor.) When Jesus came down from the mountain after fasting for an enormous amount of time and being nourished by the angels, his “inbox” was now ready to be filled.
His, and my, Father started giving him work to do. In our eyes we see the works that God prepared for Jesus given to him and fulfilled completely. God was Jesus’ client, not the world. God was the one requesting the work to be done, not the disciples or Mary and Martha. We seem to forget sometimes who is calling the shots, and when we lose sight of that, our work is never done.
“I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” – John 17:4
WHAT? Had I been the disciple on the mountain hearing Jesus say these words, I may not have said it out loud, but my mind would certainly have objected. There were still towns that needed to have the gospel preached. The sick and dying were still present. The multitudes still needed to be fed and the only one that ever got anything done was Jesus. Now he’s praying and thanking God that his work is complete? He’s got some ‘splaining to do!
But … what a glorious prayer. What if we lived our lives in such close relationship with our Father, that at the end of our lives, we could look toward heaven and say, “God, I have brought you glory! Every task, every conversation, every connection I have made is now complete. Whatever you have asked me to do has been done.” What if we said this at the end of every day? Imagine the peace that would fill our hearts when we stop letting others around us dictate what needs to be done. Truly, truly I say unto you, if you dare to attempt this … you’re going to have a lot of ticked-off people.
I write this to myself more than anyone but if you are reading this and today you (and I) would like to try an experiment, let’s focus on the tasks God gives us today, shall we? Let’s see if we can glorify the Father in the tasks he has given us and at the end of the day, lay our heads on our pillows in perfect peace, knowing that today’s events have been fulfilled, a Father has been glorified, and the works given us have been completed.
“May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me.” – John 21b – 23a