“Do good and you’ll be rewarded for it.”
–Proverbs 28:10 (MSG)
I love verses like this. I could camp-out here (if I didn’t hate camping). Stay for awhile. Maybe put down some roots. That’s good stuff. I like rewards. Rewards are good. Right?
There I go assuming again…
As I pondered this verse over the past few days, a sobering question arose. Rewards are good for me, but who says that rewards always feel good? Am I making some bad assumptions:
Reward = comfort
Reward = notoriety
Reward = riches
Reward = happiness
Reward = my desired outcome
Woohoo! Bring it on God! I’m ready for my reward!
But what if God’s greatest reward is my crushing? What if it’s the systematic disassembling of everything I ever thought I wanted? The loss of my dream so that His dreams can come alive in me? What if that reward is a closeness to God that can only be obtained by the complete dismantling of everything I am? What if that reward is the putting to death of all my self-driven motivation? What if it comes full of pain, questions, uncertainty, and gut-wrenching, sleepless nights?
“Well, uh…you can keep that reward God. Not interested. I’m happy to leave that one on the table. Save that one for someone else. Yeah, in fact I know exactly who you can give that one to. Want a name? I’ve got it right here in my iPhone...gimme just a second…”
God’s greatest reward is His presence, His love, His deep and ever-pursuing passion to make right everything in me that I can’t make right on my own. And all it takes to obtain that reward is…
…all of me.
My reward is His life, but the pathway to get there costs me everything. Some reward?
Yeah, it is.