Song of Songs 3:3—The guards who go about the city found me. I asked them, “Have you seen the one I love?”
Song of Songs is considered Solomon’s finest song. It is an exquisite love story whose eight chapters are short and easy to read and it shows how two lovers efforts are rewarded.
While wandering through the swamps in Florida in Ranger School, I asked God what He wanted for me in a wife. The word backboneflashed in my mind and I realized at once that this defined a woman who would love me and support me in whatever ministry God called me to serve. Months later, while participating in a Bible Study at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, our leader, Bobby Little, asked us what we wanted to be in life. When it got to Kathleen’s turn she said she wanted to be someone’s backbone. I looked up to the ceiling, nodded in understanding that this was a God-moment, and the courtship began. A year later, on April 2, 1983, Kathleen married me.
God honored my initiative by giving me a faithful wife. For over 34 years she has supported me in whatever direction God has called us. Throughout Scripture we see countless examples of God rewarding people for acting wisely. David the shepherd boy became a hero after defeating the giant Goliath. The sick and blind who cried out to Jesus were healed by the Messiah. The church grew because Jesus’ followers boldly shared their hope in Christ. God loves it when we step out in faith!
We know it is imperative to understand and to take initiative but it is equally important to reward it! Imagine if God had remained unresponsive to my prayer request regarding a wife. Who knows what choice I would have made had it been left to my own thinking. I like to tell people I have an “arranged marriage.”
If you see someone taking initiative for the betterment of the team or organization be sure to recognize and reward them. This shows both trust and care and it encourages the one who acted to be even more productive. If you are a parent and your child acts in a way that is honorable, recognize what took place and give affirmation. When was the last time you praised your mate? Heartfelt praise builds people up and gives them confidence.
One of the reasons why people are hesitant to be resourceful is they have been criticized by insecure leaders, family or coworkers. So rather than take a chance in doing something good, they remain passive. Nothing kills initiative faster than a critical spirit. So, when you have the opportunity to recognize the positive actions of another person do so! Be like the Apostle Paul who recognized the Thessalonian Christians for their loving behavior. He wrote them, “About brotherly love: You don’t need me to write you because you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. In fact, you are doing this toward all the brothers in the entire region of Macedonia. But we encourage you, brothers, to do so even more,” (1 Thes. 4:9,10).
Success depends in a very large measure upon individual initiative and exertion, and cannot be achieved except by a dint of hard work.—Anna Pavlov
©2018 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)