What if no one recognized your hard work?
There are lots of people whose hard work isn’t recognized. Last Sunday there were people stacking chairs in churches all across the nation.
Right now there are people preparing snacks for Bible study. Someone somewhere is doing graphic design. Someone else is arranging complicated administrative details.
Today I’m sitting in my living room. My hair is in a clippie. I’m wearing my OU T-shirt and black yoga pants. I don’t have a stitch of makeup on. I’m finishing up this blog post.
A roast is in the crockpot because Bible study meets in my home in a couple of hours.
I was going to clean my bedroom, but I gave up and just shut my bedroom door so they wouldn’t see my unmade bed and the pile of laundry I stacked on my dresser.
Everything I’m doing today is behind-the-scenes stuff. You know, the stuff you do if you are in ministry. If you are a mom. If you work. If you lead. If you love people. . .
One of the facts that surprised me as I walked with the disciples is that some of them are unseen. It doesn’t really make sense, if you think about it because Jesus chose them.
He called out their names and then a few seem to fade into the background. They were there. That was them every time the Word says, “and the disciples were with Jesus. They were doing the hard work. They weren’t pointed out like some of their buddies, but they were pulling their weight.
Let’s look at a verse that might be easy to miss.
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Revelations 21:14 (KJV)
This beautiful scripture is about heaven.
Every last one of the disciples were noticed by God. Whether their names showed up in the spotlight on earth or not, it was clear that God didn’t pick out the ones who were seen or unseen.
He honored each of them because of their faithfulness.
Whether their names were in the spotlight or not, they made an eternal impact and that delights the heart of our Heavenly Father.
We often focus on the external, but God delights in the eternal impact.
Later tonight there will be an empty crockpot and dirty dishes.
I love to think that as I wash those dishes, the Lord smiles at what took place around the table.
Women loving each other.
Women digging into the Word.
Women growing spiritually.
Women laughing and enjoying community.
Whether we are stacking chairs or rocking babies or opening our home to friends, we have the opportunity to change a world.
Whether we are creating a nonprofit, speaking to crowds, writing books, pastoring churches, lifting women out of abuse or poverty, we have the opportunity to change a world.
Shoulder to shoulder we stand.
Seen, unseen, behind-the scenes. Together, we are world changers.
- Read Chapter Eight
- Watch the video
- Launch discussion with the discussion starter at the end of the video
- Answer the questions at the end of the chapter
- BONUS: Call someone whose work is unseen and tell them that you notice.
I love the visual of being the “chair guy”. I see this a lot in stepfamilies. Stepparents do a lot of behind the scenes work that often goes unnoticed (it seems) and/or unthanked. We MUST always remember that God sees and that just because someone doesn’t say thank you or respond in a way you would like DOESN’T mean that your words and/or actions did not impact them.
Chairs are important. May we each “stack” the chair God gives us and do so in love and grace.
Thanks for your precious words Suzie – Heather
Beautiful as usual, Suzie! The chair guy. I just love this thought. I’m in a season of stacking chairs, but it looks more like smiling at children and being nice to them even when I’m tired. I’m cooking and cleaning and writing…it’s not the most comfortable place of ministry for me, but I’ll tell you this – it is beautiful because I know it’s where God is calling me right now. I love you and appreciate this simple encouragement today.
Suzie, this is just that truth. I recognize my own tug-o-war with spotlight that rightfully belongs to the King of Kings often. Somehow our perspective of ministry has been skewed into thinking the more desirable place is in the front where we are seen. And though I too am tempted to believe this, I know God works in the hearts of those in obscure places. He changes us, matures us, purifies our motives, deepens our devotion, and gives us his heart in this place. I am learning to embrace it. I’m not there yet but I want to be. As always, thanks for the post. Be blessed! – Kia
Great video message, Suzie! I never thought of Andrew’s perspective. Even if we don’t like the spotlight, we do like to know our work matters.
I feel uncomfortable when people acknowledge my work so I don’t take compliments graciously but I am working on that. On the other hand, I want to be appreciated. It’s hard to reconcile those two contradictory emotions. I am more content to be a worker bee behind the scenes than an upfront leader. My biggest problem is recognizing exactly what my calling is.
I love that the Lord saw every move that the disciples made, and that our faithfulness delights the heart of God. He’s so faithful to us. What a privilege it is to follow in His footsteps.
You’ve painted such a beautiful picture for us…unseen…I struggle with that being home with my kids. Yes, I work through the church and offer my gifts, but the tiny voices that whisper, “you’re not doing enough” get to me on occasion. Thank you so much for this encouragement, this wisdom. Have a great week Suzie!
Meg, I pray that today you’ll see over and over again how you are partnering with God to mold leaders and world shakers. <3
such a great point – you’re so right, we don’t hear a lot about some of those specially chosen ones. thanks for this, suzie, for the encouragement to follow bec I have been chosen (Not sure why – haha) and not worry about the noticing part. bless you and your crock pot and laundry today.
Thanks. The roast was delicious. Bible study was so good. Now to leftovers and writing words.
Hi Suzie! This study has been so eye-opening for me and has been just what I needed while dealing with some “snags” this week. I’m not sure how to link my blog, but here’s my attempt to do so …
Acquainted with Chair Guys
Amen. Oh, that I look up and not out into the world around me hoping to hear the applause of an audience that I do not have. Thank you for this beautiful reminder.
Such a sweet post today, Suzie. It is very heartfelt and much needed. I am glad to know too that I am not the only one who shuts the door to the laundry mountain that can not be conquered in a day’s time. Thanks for hosting by the way!
Laundry mountains try to take over my world. : )
Love this, Suzie! It gives me hope… that I’m not the only one who sometimes has to close our bedroom door, and we each can impact others and change the world… even if we don’t get recognized. Bless you and thank you!
Oh girl, that bedroom door stays closed lots of days. I put in a pack and play for our youngest grandchild, and it has become a laundry basket. : ) No bueno!
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