Since I enjoy finding gems in sections of the Bible rarely studied, I wanted to share my excitement of discovering a few verses in Judges 9:8-13 which offer wisdom to consider today.
Our culture is filled with striving and pursing goals. But is this new? Over three thousand years ago, a parable is recorded about four different type trees who are each asked to reign as king. The olive tree, grape vine, and fig tree all decline realizing they are fulfilling the role God intended right where they are. Yet the bramble agrees to be king.
I am bothered by how the world (and church?) have us clamoring to attain promotions. Progressing to a higher position is rewarded with greater affluence or influence. While the path for some may be promotion, for others perhaps there a lesson from the trees. Can we say “no” to a step up because we recognize God has us in a lower place fulfilling the purpose He has?
In Ecclesiastes Chapter 2, when King Solomon considered his extensive accomplishments, he despaired concluding these attainments were all vanity as if striving after the wind. The wisest of men recognized late in his life that without God one will not experience enjoyment or contentment, but with God there is fulfillment in the simplicity of daily meals and tasks.
How can it be that although Solomon in his high position with great riches describes life as grievous, while Paul who is impoverished and imprisoned is filled with joy? Paul understood what eluded Solomon. Life is not about gaining more but finding contentment where God has placed us, grateful for the perhaps overlooked gifts God has placed in our lives. Whether one serves in obscurity or in the highest position, when find our identity as a beloved child of God, it is enough. We don’t need to seek a promotion because we have found our position, securely in Him.
Be steadfast, always abounding in the work of the Lord because in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58