Icy Paint Buckets

He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. He who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? If you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? Luke 16:10'12 WEB.

It was a gray, cold morning in Myrtle Beach. The wind blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean caused the paint in our buckets to have small slivers of ice floating to the top of them. I had recently started to work with this company, and we were painting an eight-story condominium right on the oceanfront during the winter. It was the offseason after the tourists had gone home.

I worked hard. Partly to keep warm, but mostly because I try to do everything as unto the Lord, wholeheartedly (Colossians 3:23). When a job gets difficult, I turn it into a game where I am working directly for the God who put me there until He provides a way for me to get out of there. I talk to Him about it throughout the day. If I am working at the coffee counter at church, I act as if each cup I make was for Jesus Himself.

If you understand that you are working directly for the Lord, that He intentionally put you here to do this job today when you could have been anywhere else. Then it will give your work new meaning. Also, my dad taught me that if you focus on getting the job done, the day will go by much faster, and it is true.

Later that day, the lead man on the crew came to me, and in a hushed, slightly embarrassed tone, he explained that I was making the rest of them look bad. They were all doing just enough to get by, and that centered around finding a corner to stay warm in. Where I had made a good show and painted nearly as much as all of them together. They intended to stretch the job out as long as possible, and even the foreman was in on it.

The Holy Spirit groaned within me. I smiled, continued working, and began to whistle the tune from the Andy Griffith show. Within a month, I was the lead man on the crew, and that guy was on unemployment. In time, God gave me my own painting business. He that can be trusted with a little can also be trusted with a lot. If you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?

I try to work for the Lord wherever He places me, and it's not always a bed of roses. He has put me in some interesting places, many times to reach someone there. I have dug miles of ditches if they were placed end to end. For a while, I pumped out septic tanks. I painted houses, cropped tobacco, changed automobile transmissions, polished brass, installed computer networks, wrote software applications, and played music in bands at night. If He would open the door for me, then I would step through it. Each time I was faithful in the job, He would promote me, and no one could stop it. Yet, he often closed that door and opened a new one somewhere else when the task He put me there for was complete. I would lead someone to the Lord, then get laid off, or another door would open somewhere else, and the game would begin again.

You can thrive wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Joseph prospered while he was a slave. Then he flourished while in prison. Then he was a great success at ruling Egypt. If God put you there, work hard, and keep a positive attitude. It will lead to your promotion or something better. Your attitude at work directly reflects on the God you serve. So be faithful in what God has given you. Work hard at it, for there will be a reward in due season.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please give me the grace to perform my best. Equip me with the skills that I need and help me make the right decisions today. Please open the next door for me and give me a clear vision. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!

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