The Treadmill of Daily Christian Work

In her book, The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911) quotes a friend who says this about the daily work of a Christian, “When I was first converted, I was so full of joy and love that I was only too glad and thankful to do anything for my Lord, and I eagerly entered every open door. But after a while, as my early joy faded away, and my love burned less fervently, I began to wish I had not been quite so eager, for I found myself involved in lines of service that were gradually becoming very distasteful and burdensome to me.”


She goes on to say this: “I would have infinitely preferred scrubbing all day on my hands and knees to being compelled to go through the treadmill of my daily Christian work. I envied the servants in the kitchen and the women at the washtubs.”


Does that resonate? Do you ever get tired of ministry? Do you ever get tired of just pushing out more and more of God’s love in your own strength? 


Recently, my wife and I went away. We went to a conference where we were just participants; we didn’t speak and didn’t have authority. We just had to wait in line for a seat, because we wanted to be filled. And the treadmill of the daily work, the joy that was robbed, returned to us because we spent some time alone with our Lord and Savior.


It reminds me of what Paul says in Galatians 3:3, “Although you began with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort?” (NET). God calls us to Himself, not to our work. God calls us to His blessed peace, not to our striving. He does not value what we do; He values who we are. So, if you envy the servants in the kitchen and the women at the washtubs, and no longer look forward to serving the Lord, get alone and spend some time with Him.