Sunday, October 11, 2009

Safety net

When construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, no safety devices were used. Sources say that workers feared falling to their deaths. Later in the project, a $100,000 net was put in place and more than 10 workers fell into it without harm. An interesting effect from being assured of their safety is that 25 percent more work was accomplished.

Sometimes people ask me how I can get so much work done. At first, I didn’t have an answer. I wondered even why they asked because it seems to me that I coast more than I work. However, as I look back on that question in relation to my spiritual life, I can see that being totally sure that I belong to God and that He takes care of me makes a difference in many things. One of them is that less time is wasted worrying about His approval. Another is that when my faith is tested, He always comes through to answer all challenges. Doubt and worry cease to rob me of time and energy. In this regard, James says,
Blessed is the man who endures temptation (tests); for when he has been approved (passes the tests), he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)
The promise of eternal life is solid and sets me in a place of certainty. My eternity is a done deal, totally settled. Because Jesus died for my sins and gave me faith and new life in Him, I will go to heaven when I die, living forever with my Lord and King.

Right now, the life that I have is both temporal and eternal. One will die, the other will not and cannot. As I wait for the day when I possess eternal life in its fullness, I’m already affected by it. For one thing, my heart is at rest concerning the big questions of life. I can press on with whatever is on my plate without being anxious about the present or the future. As Paul wrote, “There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).

I know that the work I do does not earn this assurance, no more than the work done by the men on the bridge bought them a safety net. Someone else provided their assurance just as Jesus Christ has provided mine. I’m trying to do the tasks He gives me with excellence, but if I slip and make a mistake, He will catch me. When the tests come and the way seems too difficult or even threatens my well-being, I can keep on because I know He is there and will not let me down. Passing the tests becomes a simple matter of remembering my safety net.

Enduring those tests does not earn eternal life either, but the fact that I can endure us proof that I already have it. For those who love and have a genuine faith in Him, He gives great joy in both life and work because He has put that safety net in place.

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