Don’t Stop

by Joanna Pierce on August 21, 2019

When I was a college student, the Lord blessed me with an amazing internship at a University Publication’s Unit. It was incredible to glean first-hand experience with a legitimate business. What I had only learned about in books became very tangible. Hands-on experience is paramount to learning.

At first, I was overly eager to accomplish any task. I completed every assignment with the ultimate enthusiasm and vigor. It didn’t matter if I was licking envelopes, running documentation to the printer, editing a book, or organizing the supply cabinet—I was engaged and highly focused.

But, after six months, I started to become a little stir crazy; I desired more variety in my duties. After days of manually scanning pages, I’d long desperately to edit a book just to do something different than the task at hand. But, when assigned to edit a 500-page book following my page-scanning, I’d soon crave something new, as it felt like I was drowning in pages of printed words. I wanted something different.

One could argue that it’s okay to want a little variety in our day, ministry, or overall life. However, we should be cautious of the drive behind our want for change. Are we distracted? Are we discontent? Are we being disobedient to complete our current directive?

And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD’S deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them. And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed. And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice (II Kings 13:17–19, KJV).

Joash, the king of Israel came to the prophet Elisha for help. He was being attacked by the Syrians and wanted the Lord’s help. In a faith demonstration, Elisha directed Joash to hit the ground with arrows. But, it’s here we read where Joash and I fell into the same mentality.

Joash threw his entire might into the first strike. He probably did the same with the second thrust. But, somewhere between the second and third arrow strike, Joash lost focus. He started thinking about other things. He started to wonder how long he must strike the ground with the arrows. He pondered about the significance of striking the arrows on the ground. And, after the third crack, he stopped.

At my internship, I never stopped working, but if I had given into distraction or discontentment enough, I probably would have. Several other interns succumbed to this and actually stopped. They got bored, became unfocused, and dropped out. The same thing happened to Joash. He became uninterested and stopped hitting the arrows on the ground. Because of this, he limited his victory over the enemy.

When God gives us a directive in His Kingdom, we’re initially eager to work, but as time goes by we get a little unsettled. We look at what someone else is doing and want to leave our plow and try digging in another field. But, we can’t get distracted, we can’t get discontented, we can’t lose hope, we can’t stop smiting the ground.

If God’s given us a task, we need to continue to do it until He tells us to stop and do it with the same passion and fervency we did on day one. Even if He never gives us another task we need to keep working. We can’t let go and leave a gap. We can’t miss out on the blessing in store at the end. For me, the longer I stuck with my internship the more interesting and challenging it became. Opportunities were opened to me because I persevered, because I redirected my focus, and because I was faithful.

God, help us redirect our focus today and be obedient to You. Help us be content with the work You’ve given us to complete. We’re thankful we can be a vessel in Your Kingdom and that You’ll give us the strength to continue. Help us to keep going and keep hitting our target over and over until You come.