The Efforts Business

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Thy Way Not Mine O Lord"1 (Lyrics)

Philemon 1:9b – Consider this as a request from me — Paul, an old man and now also a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus. (NLT)

2 Timothy 4:6 – As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. (NLT)

Sometimes, I find myself thinking that God has no more for me to do, as I am old. Then, I remember that the apostle Paul said that he was old, too, a vulnerable thing to admit. But lately, when people ask how I am, I say, "Elderly", because it acknowledges so much — complaints, neediness, aches, and pains — and they laugh, especially if they are doctors, used to hearing the litany of problems related to aging.

Paul knew what his work was: writing a bunch of letters to a few small and scattered churches (when he wasn't getting beaten up and thrown into prison). Did Paul know that he was writing what would become a quarter of the New Testament? No, of course not. But he kept on doing what God had given him to do.

Someone said, "I'm in the efforts business, not the results business." This is the way that I have learned to regard the work that God has for me. Sometimes, I have trouble getting out of the house, forgetting my keys, my jacket, my umbrella. It slows me down when I have to go back. But starting again, I often bump into someone God wanted me to talk to. I would not have encountered them had God not been synchronizing our schedules.

Most of the time, like Paul, we don't know the impact of our words as we turn over our life and will to His direction every morning. However, occasionally, someone tells us that what we've said made a difference.

Hebrews 12:12-13 – So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. (NLT)

Titus 2:2-3a – Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience. Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. (NLT)

Prayer: Dear patient heavenly Father, our times are in Your hands. Thank You for those who are prepared to share Your blessings and understanding, especially the example of the aged apostle, faithfully writing about his trust in You to those You had given him to help. Thank You that this faith still burns as brightly as it did when he set down the words that have grown us up in Christ, sustaining and changing our lives as we continue to read their wisdom. Thank You for the opportunity to share daily the insights that You give us, without knowing where or to whom or to what they will lead. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rose DeShaw <>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the good word, Rose.

    Thanks for an encouraging word today Rose.

    Well said! These scriptures certainly fit the topic. Thanks!

    Thank you, Rose, for sharing this devotional with us. It hit the mark God intended. Blessings.

    Dear Rose
    I´m like you.

    Being in the kind of situation you describe, in some parts of my life, I find these insights encouraging.
    Thanks for sharing them.

    Dear Rose:
    Thank so much. You are an inspiration to me.
    God bless you.

    I was surprised to see your name when I reached the end of today’s devotion, Rose. In my mind I didn’t picture you as “elderly.” I’m glad that you are writing so please don’t stop. Blessings.

    Hello Rose
    Thank you for this devotional! I really love Hebrews 12 v 12 and 13. and I love your reply ”Elderly.”
    God bless you.

    Good morning Rose,
    I enjoyed your writing for today.
    The “I’m in the efforts business, not the results business.” is a line I will use in the future.

    Dear Rose,
    Thank you for continue to encourage all of us with your thoughtful devotionals. May you have a blessed day. With gratefulness.

    Thanks rose. My husband made a hat for the Hebrew verse. “Grip it”.
    He fell asleep and didn’t wake up. He was in his 60’s and could do back flips.
    Such an amazing man that lived and loved. He had a grip on life. Now he’s gone.

    Dear Rose,
    Your words are a blessing. I have been reading and rereading a biography of the apostle Paul called The Apostle by John Pollock. I had never stopped to realize that Paul had no idea how important his letters would be to so many people. Thank you for this devotional. It is a blessing.

    Thank you, Rose, for this lovely devotion you shared with us today. Much food for thought! Yes, the Lord certainly didn’t give us “Elderlies” a retirement date when working in His vineyard.
    Blessings on your day today.

    Dear Rose,
    I’m feeling elderly today and your devotional was bang on. I hadn’t remembered those passages where Paul spoke of being old – especially the bit about knees!
    Thank you and may God bless your work and your words.

    What beautiful sentiments to begin the day. Thank you for your insights and your writing Rose.
    I, too, am ‘elderly’ and it is not always a comfortable place to be. I have a new understanding of growing old with grace..:)
    Praying God continues to use you and grow you.
    Blessings and (Christian) love,

    Dear Rose Thanks for sharing. I plan on including the reading of your thoughts at the Nursing home service today.

    Once again, Rose, your words resonate with me. There is no one with your unique life journey and we are blessed each time you share.

    Rose, your devotionals are always an inspiration to me. I thank you for persevering and for you willingness to pass the words of blessing God shares with you along to us. Bless You!

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