February 22, 2017
In a culture that often focuses on the fast and temporary, it is good to think about things that have lasting value. A quick return is not always the best investment. Financial advisors remind us to consider a longer-range perspective, because even if the growth process seems slow, it often returns more over time.
Thoughtfulness is like that. Consider Mordecai in the story of Queen Esther. He might have felt insignificant and far removed from the king, but that did not keep him from passing along information that saved the king’s life. Eventually, it changed Mordecai’s life and helped to save the nation Israel from extermination.
Now and then we read a story about someone who showed kindness to another person – not for reward but because it was the right thing to do. And later on they find themselves with an unexpected inheritance.
Or that individual who challenged our patience and required a lot of time and energy – we wondered if it would make any difference. But years later, we see them excelling in a position of leadership. Perhaps we had a little part in that success story.
Parenting is all about commitment today with the hope of long-term benefits. Patient answering of repeated questions, lessons taught and re-taught over and over again, affirmation expressed and correction applied – the process at times seems endless. But so quickly those little people become adults, and now and then, they remind us that they appreciate the investment we made in them.
The greatest long-term benefit any human can anticipate is the forever relationship with Creator God. From His perspective, it must seem like a long and painful investment. With amazing patience, He forgives us again and again and allows us to learn from our mistakes and enjoy the fruit of obedience.
Above all this, Savior Jesus paid for our sin with His life to satisfy the demands of God. And when He left Planet Earth with a promise to return, He gave us the assignment to tell His Story – the greatest task we can imagine. In conclusion, He made this promise: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). There is no longer-lasting benefit!
Pastor Bill Ehmann