Recently I went to a family member's retirement party. My uncle was retiring from the Martinsburg Fire Station. During the evening I heard about the lives he saved in his years of service as a paramedic and fireman. I heard other's commend him on his great achievements in his profession rising to the place of Captain. Many thanked him for making a personal difference in their lives as a friend and coworker. The entire event was to honor him. This was the first retirement party I had ever been to and was so touched by this outpouring of love and gratitude.
Because so many family members and friends were there, I was saturated with thoughts of my father. He had no retirement party. He made a difference in so many people's lives but never received the accolades here on Earth. I thought about my own service to God hoping one day I will accomplish something of equal value. However I, like my dad and so many others, will never be given a retirement party. For one reason we don't ever retire from doing the Lord's work. For another reason, our achievements for the Lord do not always get recognized here. Sometimes it's the same feeling being a parent. From the moment our children are born we give up so much to give them everything without any acknowledgement.
The Bible tells us that one day we will be recognized in Eternity. "For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done" (Matthew 16:27). We will be recognized for all we have done to further the gospel when it really matters. There will be souls in heaven because we told them about Jesus Christ. This work we are doing does not receive the honor here on Earth but one day the Creator of Heaven and Earth will acknowledge all we have done. And even in parenting we will one day reap a harvest. We might have to wait until our children are grown and become parents themselves but they will understand one day. We have the hope that our "children will rise up and call us blessed" (Proverbs 31:28.)
In order for us to one day receive this honor, we must keep doing the work of the Lord. Sometimes we want to throw in the towel but we must keep going. We are faced with adversity but must be over comers with God's help. Ten years ago my uncle had back surgery and had a long road to recovery. The retirement party wouldn't have come if he had stopped short. Instead he continued to the next goal, Captain. That's what we must do. We must move to the next goal God sets before us. We all want to hear God say to us, "well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21). Our retirement party is for all eternity. Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am" (John 14:2-3).