THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
ALL IS VANITY - 2
We do divine work, but we often judge the results of our work
by human standards. When we give our all to God’s service,
we at times wonder why the results are not as great as we
would like them to be. It might even be that we feel the work
is all in vain. We ask: “What profit have workers from
their toil?” (Eccl 3:9).
is a basic error. In doing divine work, our human minds simply
cannot plumb into the very depths of the mysteries of God,
and how God chooses to do things. Of course as His disciples,
we “have seen the business that God has given to mortals
to be busied about.” (Eccl 3:10). And for His disciples,
God “has put the timeless into their hearts so they
cannot find out, from beginning to end, the work which God
has done.” (Eccl 3:11b). So we should stop judging the
results of our work by human standards.
God has revealed certain things to us. And God continues to
reveal things, if only we open our hearts and minds. So we
look to the truths we ought to know about God’s workings.
“there is an appointed time for everything” (Eccl
3:1a). Both positives and seeming negatives happen in our
life and service. God has the perfect plan for us, and if
we try to live according to His ways, then we must know that
all things will work out for our good. For example, we might
be disappointed in a meager harvest in our CLS, but that one
or a few couples might be those God intends to use powerfully
in the future, and God allowed us to give them more time and
attention. Or we might face great oppression and persecution,
but these can help bring us deeper in our relationship with
God. We must simply know that “God has made everything
appropriate to its time” (Eccl 3:11a), and we just need
to trust in Him and eventually recognize the good.
the work we do brings us directly into spiritual warfare,
facing a powerful enemy. Do we then wonder that we can be
beaten up, bloodied and even die? Some people have romantic
notions about mission or work with the poor. But when we serve
God in evangelization and social action, we assault the enemy.
Thus we need to put on the armor of God. We need to pray to
“the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for battle,
my fingers for war” (Ps 144:1). Only God can protect
and empower us, as He is “my safeguard and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer.” (Ps 144:2a). Only God
can give us the victory, as He is “my shield, in whom
I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.” (Ps 144:2b).
the one that is important is God and not us. We are mere instruments,
unworthy ones at that. It becomes a problem when we become
proud in our accomplishments for God, in which case God would
then need to bring us down. We must know the truth: “Lord.
what is man that you take notice of him; the son of man, that
you think of him?” (Ps 144:3). We are nothing. “Man
is but a breath, his days are like a passing shadow.”
(Ps 144:4). The sooner we realize this, the better off we
will be, as we will no longer demand things from God or judge
His actions with our limited human mind.
we are called to live the gospel of the cross. Not the prosperity
gospel. Not the gospel of comfort and leisure. Not the gospel
of power and position. We after all follow in the footsteps
of Jesus. And he went all the way to the cross. “The
Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders,
the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed” (Lk
9:22a). If we do not accept this, we will be greatly disappointed
sometime in our life and service, when things do not go well,
or when things go terribly wrong. We must embrace the cross
of Christ. That is our privilege.
the above truths help us to accept whatever appointed time
for anything. These truths give us a deeper insight and appreciation
of who God truly is and what He is about. But we will never
know fully, for God is God and we are mere human flesh. That
is, until we make it to heaven, where everything will finally
become clear. Jesus was destined to “on the third day
be raised.” (Lk 9:22b). As we follow him to the cross,
we also follow him to eternal life.
will we fully realize what profit His workers have from their