A Futile Attempt

As you step back from the water you can see that it only requires a couple of waves before the hole is filled in and the beach becomes flat again.

Job 20:1-29

Reference:  v.24 Though he flees from an iron weapon, a bronze-tipped arrow pierces him. (TNIV Bible)

Explore:  Have you ever tried to dig a hole in the sand at the beach?  If you take a spade and start digging it doesn’t take long for you to make a dent in the ground.  As you diligently work at moving the sand you can quickly see the hole getting deeper and the pile of left over sand getting higher.  It’s a great achievement with minimal effort.  However, you soon realise that the tide is coming in and with the waves comes danger for your hole.  For you know that all it would take is one wave to reach your hole and disaster would strike.  As soon as a wave washes into your hole it fills up quickly, bringing with it a great deal of sand from the water as well as pushing the sides of the hole in on the empty space. As you step back from the water you can see that it only requires a couple of waves before the hole is filled in and the beach becomes flat again.  All that work for nothing.  The only thing you can do is get down on your knees and start digging all over again.

Application:  There are times in our lives when we feel that our actions are futile.  It’s like we’ve been working hard at digging a great hole and suddenly the tide comes in and washes it all away.  It’s a little frustrating when it happens with the first hole but by the time you’ve had your tenth hole washed in you start to get totally disheartened.  I think we call that ‘banging your head against a brick wall’.  There are bound to be times in our life where we don’t get to see the end result in our work and all our hard labour seems to be futile.  However we should never underestimate what God is doing in our lives at that time.  Job’s friends seemed to think that all his misfortune was coming upon him because he was sinful.  Yet from the beginning of his story we see that is not true.  Sometimes we just need to adjust what the end result should be.  Because of Job’s experience many people have gained a greater understanding of God.  I’m sure Job would not have seen that as the end result however God can use our experiences in ways that we could never imagine.  What may seem like a futile attempt to us may end up being a significant worship experience for someone else.

Prayer:  Lord, may I work diligently at all my tasks with the end goal of connecting with You.  Amen.

What are you currently working towards at the moment?  What do you see as your final goal?  Where is God moving through your work?


This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.