Labor can be tedious. Trying to find meaning in mundane, repetitive tasks, exhausting. Walking in the Spirit while in the workforce, or tending to the home front, tiresome.
Paul, recognizing the challenge of finding the Spirit in the midst of the worldly, wrote, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Col. 3:23).
I often meditate on the construction of the second Holy Temple. The enormity of the project. The years of constriction. Then the response to seeing the foundation of the second Temple by those who had seen the first? They wept; because it did not measure up (Ezra 3:12).
Imagine if your only task was to chisel stones. Day after day: hammer to chisel. Not tasked with the finishing work, you labor in the dust and heat. Yet, your labor apparently pales in comparison to what had come before. Devastating.
Still, the Lord said, “The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Hag. 2:9).
How could the glory of the second surpass that of the first?
It would be personally visited by the Lord Himself, not in presence, but in person (Mal. 3:1).
The stones mindlessly chiseled. The dust filling the air. The scorching heat. It all served a purpose, more grand than could be imagined: Emmanuel walking on those very stones.
Today, as Paul tells us, we are a habitation of God personally visited, and in dwelt by His Son (I Cor. 3:16), chiseled by the Holy Spirit. Yet, the labor isn’t to building up and out, but to be present as Yeshua reaches through us to the next living stone to be chiseled out of this world for His advancing Kingdom.
When you recognize how He has reformed you into a living stone, a living presence in His dwelling, those hours with the chisel seem to fade away as one more appears before Him, and is ushered into His Kingdom.
Be well. Shalom.