Let me tell you a story about Liz. Liz is a responsible 26 year old woman who has her career in tack, her finances in tack and her family in tack. The only thing that Liz is in search of is a spouse. "Surely this should be easy for me to find, I am the perfect catch!" Liz thought to herself. Shortly after, she met Jonah. Jonah is a good looking and physically fit 28 year old man with lots of dreams and ambitions. Liz and Jonah hit it off right away and soon began dating. Not long into their relationship however, Liz realizes that Jonah has some secrets and that he isn't quite everything she dreamed of. She shared her concerns with him but not much seemed to change. He challenged her because he felt that "the way you met me should be good enough."
Liz had to make a decision. Stay with Jonah in a dying relationship or face the fear of being single again without any prospects. Liz decided to end things with Jonah and move on with the hopes of meeting another nice gentleman in the future. Nearly two years later, Liz ran into Jonah randomly. He was successful, married and the father of a beautiful baby girl. Liz couldn't help but notice that all of the things that she suffered with Jonah no longer seemed to be an issue with his new relationship. Liz was confused as to how the changes that she asked for but never happened seemed to be all the rage with his new relationship. To make matters even worse, just as they were leaving, Jonah turns to Liz and says, "Thank you for everything you told me. You really helped me become a better man."
Liz was very confused as to why things did not work out between her and Jonah, and why Jonah now seemed to be the man she always wanted but with someone else. She felt as if she should have been the recipient of all of her labor and not his new wife. You might be wondering what's the moral of this story? We all seek to be rewarded for our labor and sacrifices but what do you do when you see your reward given to someone else? The labor and sacrifices that Liz put in trying to help Jonah make certain changes in their relationship that he did not apply when with her, seemed to be rewarded to his now wife.
The scripture tells us to not grow weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not (Gal. 6:9). Liz only imagined that her harvest for what she sowed into Jonah would come back in the form of him transforming into this wonderful and great man, for her; however, that doesn't happen all of the time. Trust and believe that God is not using us to get things done in everyone else's lives and leaving us high and dry to manage on our own. He has a great plan for us, even when things do not return to us the way we thought they would logically.
One sure way to close the door on the enemy in this area is to know who you are sacrificing for. Liz felt the way she did because she was sacrificing with only herself in mind as the beneficiary. The next time you give up that boyfriend or girlfriend that you love so much that you know is no good for you, or the next time you cut the TV off to study the Word and pray, ask yourself what and why are you doing it? Are you doing it because you know that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him? Or are you doing it to be seen by others and to receive their praises? Remember, God calls those people hypocrites and He has a full reward just for them -- I doubt that is the reward you are seeking! The Bible also tells us that when we give (sacrifice) to do it as unto the Lord [not unto men] with your whole heart because He has an inheritance for us as a reward; it is Christ we are serving (Col. 3:23-24).
Also think about this. I know as women, it can be difficult to suffer in a bad relationship only to end it and later see that person bloom into the man of your dreams with someone else. I am sure we have all been there at some point in our lives. They all seem to come back and say thank you for making me a better person! That is a "compliment" that no woman in that situation really ever wants to hear. But before you roll your eyes and dismiss it, let's look at it a little deeper. When you met your God fearing perfect "Boaz" of a husband, did you have anything to do with him becoming that person? In most cases that answer will be no. When Ruth met Boaz and Esther met the King, neither one of them contributed in anyway to help make the man they later married the blessed man of valor that he was when they married them. They were already like that when they met.
If we had the chance to talk to them, I am sure we would be able to find some woman in their past that they would be able to say "you made me a better person" to! What I mean is that, sometimes that man that you release to bloom for another woman is the blessing or reward! You are contributing to the natural cycle of life! Everyone you meet will take something from you and pour it back into society. What better way to contribute to the world by allowing them to take something positive instead of negative? Ever heard of the saying, "hurt people, hurt people"? I am sure you have! Are you getting my drift? If Liz had been thinking this way instead of her "why me Lord" way, she would have been able to praise God for allowing her to be such a blessing to Jonah and his new family!
When you only always think of the way things will benefit you, you are not thinking with the mind of Christ. Christ's death in no way benefited Himself [He would still reign in Glory as King!], but because He had us in mind and the way we would benefit from it, He proceeded with the sacrifice. Is the glass clear enough for you now?! I hope so! The reward we expect may not be what we get but trust and believe that God has a man/woman for you that is somewhere taking the positives that someone else has deposited into their life that they will later shower you with! Be patient, I know it can be hard and gets difficult sometimes but just know that in God's commonwealth Kingdom, there is a system of sowing and reaping and nothing goes out without coming back around!
Shalam & Blessings