I raked leaves yesterday, like every week for the last month. How is it I can fill the garbage can and several trash bags every time, yet there are still leaves on the trees? Kind of like the vacuum cleaner mystery—with so much long blonde hair tightly wound around the roller every week, how can I still have any hair?
Sadly, after two hours of raking yesterday, our yard is already littered with freshly fallen leaves. (I couldn’t bear to look yesterday afternoon.) It never seems to end! In fact, as I was raking I thought of the catchy/annoying song my girls and I learned long ago on Lamb Chops. “This is the song that never ends…” This song, I have found, comes to mind at the oddest times, yet amused me on this occasion. Leaf raking is indeed a job that never seems to end.
Maybe you’re struggling with another kind of job that seems to go on forever:

  • parenting a strong-willed child
  • being kind to a crabby spouse or co-worker
  • showing up for a job you don’t like
  • praying for a child who has turned away
  • reaching out with the life-giving message of Christ with no response

It’s exhausting to do the same things over and over when there’s no noticeable improvement or hope for a change. The leaves keep falling, your child continues to throw tantrums, people gripe and complain despite your best efforts, your heart aches for your beloved one, and the people you share with show no desire to know Christ.

But seasons change. Fall turns to winter and our raking is done for a while. Circumstances change. You find a new job; your child grows up and learns self-control; God reaches the ones you love in ways you’d never expect.
Until these things happen, don’t give up. Keep loving, praying, speaking, reaching out, showing up, and doing what is right—even when it looks hopeless. You never know what’s just around the bend; what the next wave will bring ashore. 
God sees our faithfulness, even when we don’t feel like we’re making any progress. When we do the work we grow, and God-seeds flourish in places we might never suspect. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Gal. 6:9-10).

Also, don’t forget to enjoy the beauty of process. I knew my raking chore wasn’t over even as I labored yesterday, but there was still pleasure in the effort. It was nice to be outside breathing fresh air, getting exercise, caring for our home. And the leaves! Moisture from recent rains deepened their color. They were different shapes and sizes; speckled, pointed, and curled. Taking a closer look filled me with wonder for our Creator.
Your never-ending job is no different. There’s beauty in it, if you look closely. And the more you see God there, the easier it will be for you to show up and give your all. The people you touch are so much more amazing than leaves.
Thank you for being faithful in repeated efforts. There will be a reward in all you do for Christ, if you don’t give up.
#areyouweary #dotheyevergrowup #neverends #worththeeffort #Galatians6