Even in THIS season Be Strong & Do the Work!

“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately.  Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought.  If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. So take this seriously. The Lord has chosen you to build a Temple as his sanctuary. 

Be strong and do the work!”


1 Chronicles 28:9-10

Seasons….as I write this, it is Easter Sunday….April 12….Spring.  Yet….here in NW Iowa, the wind is howling, the snow is falling and by looking out the window, you’d say it was January.  YEP – the JOYS of living in NW Iowa – you just never know what season the next day will bring. It seems, especially in April, one day we will be sitting in our lawn chairs, applying the sunscreen, while 2 days later, we are spreading ice melt on the driveway!  (That REALLY happened this past week by the way ☺ )  


I LOVE the change of seasons though!  I LOVE the anticipation of what each new season brings!  I LOVE seeing GOD at work, doing what only He can to bring each season come to life!!  The new life that sprouts from the ground in the spring, the beauty in the sunsets on the hot summer nights, the majesty shown in the colors so beautifully displayed in the fall and the quiet stillness with a freshly fallen snow in the winter – ONLY GOD can bring this kind of amazement!!


In the same way that God brings the seasons in nature, He also brings us through different seasons of life.  And this particular “season” has probably been the most challenging I’ve experienced! The Coronavirus Pandemic has shaken our world, our country, our states and our communities in a way we’ve never experienced before.  It’s something no one was prepared for….trained for or ever thought even possible really. We are so used to doing what we want, when we want – and now with the “world standing still”…..we are all out of sorts!! The kids are experiencing “distance learning” with the schools all being closed.  I am the mom of a high school senior who is still holding out hope that she will have an opportunity to wear that beautiful prom dress and walk across the stage to receive her diploma!! I have an 8th grade son that is closing the chapter of elementary school, not able to compete in his last soccer game or track meet, all school concert, 8th grade field trip and he too is holding out hope that a graduation ceremony is in his future!! 


Churches are closed and we are all worshiping in our living rooms, watching our pastors and worship leaders through our computer screens.  We are spending a lot of time with our faces in our screens, working from home. Our social lives have come to a screeching halt, restaurants are drive-thru only, movie theaters are popping popcorn so people can drive through and pick up a giant bucketful so they can enjoy movies from their homes.  Grocery store shelves continue to struggle to stay filled, and toilet paper is a rare find anywhere!! This “season” is not one we were prepared for….and certainly didn’t look forward to.


But – just as we know that the seasons of nature eventually will change, we have hope that this “season” will soon be a memory.  Why??  OUR GOD IS IN CONTROL!!  


We KNOW that God has all of our days marked out for us!  We KNOW that His plans are always for the good of those who love him!  We KNOW that HE is holding us all, walking alongside of us through this wilderness of uncertainty and will bring us through to the other side….in His time!!! 


We also know that we can’t just sit back and do nothing through the process!! In the verse from 1 Chronicles 28, the Lord chose Solomon to build His temple…..Solomon was chosen to BUILD and instructed to “Be Strong and Do the Work!”  He was told to build his relationship with God, to get to know him intimately so he would be able to discern God’s will for his life!


Just as God chose Solomon – He has also chosen YOU – and ME!! He knows our names – He LOVES us!! And He wants us to know HIM – intimately – so we too can “Be STRONG and DO THE WORK!” 


For each of us, that work looks different – but being OBEDIENT and TRUSTING those in authority over us is all the same! We all need to take the time to sit and be still with Jesus, read His Word, do our daily devotions and just talk to Him! We need to care for our “temples” – move our bodies, get in a workout, go for a walk – just like in “normal” times!  We need to nourish and fuel our bodies with good foods that God has created – fruits, vegetables and proteins – to keep up our energy and keep our bodies functioning in the way God intended.  


Even in this odd and unusual “season”, we need to continue to “BE STRONG AND DO THE WORK!!”  Then in HIS time, we will reap a reward that only HE can provide!! 



Shelly Van Otterloo  ~ CTC Influencer


Shelly lives in NW Iowa with her family – Loren, her husband of 25 years, and their 3 children – Lindsey(19) , Alli(18) & Nate(14). She is an office manager of her  brothers’ recruiting company where they find jobs for people and find people for jobs in the Ag Industry throughout the Midwest.  Her passion is health and wellness and she works as a Beachbody coach, encouraging women of all ages to love and care for their bodies, giving glory to God for all of the gifts they’ve been given!!  She loves to sing, play the piano and spend time outdoors, soaking in the sunshine!!





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