in a single sentence

Perhaps my hard work for you has been for nothing. (Galatians 4:11 CEB)

Turning this text over and over in my mind gives birth to words in triplets.

Work. Weakness. Worry. So very much of what goes through a minister’s mind every minute is found right here.

Love. Labor. Longing. These are the things of which a heart truly engaged with God and people are made.

Thoughts. Feelings. Actions. There is nothing Christ does not touch and influence, make and utilize, in the life of one sold out to him.

Past. Present. Future. Such is what’s in view with Paul’s point of pause, a pause to pen these words, no doubt, bathed with prayer.

Self. Others. God. Here in this sentence we find our rightful place in the scheme of things as well as hints toward the best answers to the questions we all have in mind, “Why do we do what we do?” and “Who do we do it for?”

Certainties. Possibilties. Unknowns. We’re reminded of just how far removed we are from being God, from being able to determine outcomes, from being able to control others.

In the name of Jesus, Father, shape me into a man of yours like the one who penned these words of yours, my older brother, Paul. Amen.