Written on May 1st
Happy Labor Day everybody! No I do not have my dates mixed up. While in the USA Labor Day is celebrated in September, in Israel it is celebrated on May 1st. Well, kinda. Labor Day is not an official holiday in Israel, yet it is celebrated by many. This year's Labor day falls on a special day, which is Memorial Day. Can you read that sentence again without being confused? You see, while Labor Day is always on May 1st, Memorial Day does not have a fixed date since it is always a day before Israel's Independence Day. Are you further confused? Let me explain. The Israeli Independence Day does have a fixed date on the Jewish calendar which is lunar. That means that Independence Day will land on the same date on the Jewish calendar but on different dates every year on the Gregorian, normal, calendar.
Memorial Day can be described as a celebration of the lives of men and women who died serving their country. Others consider it a day of mourning the loss of loved ones. Those who labored with many others for a cause, knowing they might not live to enjoy the victory of the fight. One cannot give such great a gift without having absolute faith in their hearts. While appreciating the faith and sacrifice, I can only celebrate the lives of those I will get to meet later and mourn those I won't have the chance to.
I've pondered the thought that there are people I'll only meet once. I believe that every day we meet people whom we won't tell about Jesus. Those are people we probably will meet only once, that one time. But what if we decide to take action? People are willing to give their lives for earthly things that will shortly after wither away. Why are we scared of sharing something so precious with others that will impact not only their perishable lives but their eternity as well?!
I've often come across people who take action by praying. Prayer is a very powerful tool we, as believers, have in our tool box. Sometimes it's easier to fight battle behind closed doors on our knees. I personally believe we cannot do anything without prayer. I find it such an inspiration that at the end of Matt. 9 Jesus instructs His disciples to pray to God to send workers and laborers. The very next thing He does at the beginning of chapter 10 is sending the disciples themselves as workers and laborers. And for the remaining of the same chapter He tells them how hard it will be. It will be labor!
When my wife went into labor I stood by her side for almost a full day of pain. We heard other women in other rooms screaming as they were giving birth. Earlier, grandma told me "this is the forgotten hardship." I asked her, "what does that mean?" She said, "the pain is gone once you hold your newborn in your hands." She is right! Such wonderful feelings overwhelm you when you hold a newborn baby, a newborn person. Such is our labor. I've had moments I wanted to throw in the towel. There were moment I said "I'm giving up, I'm done wasting time." And when I asked God what I should do He said "Love them."
So let us all go into labor! If it's hard, it's supposed to be! Jesus did not fool us into discipleship saying it will be a piece of cake. He said it will be labor. And when we see God's hand change the lives of those we've labored for we will forget the pain and rejoice with the heavens! So let us celebrate today being laborers in God's fields! Happy Labor Day everybody!