When God Calls the Heart to Diligence

The path to fulfilling God’s plans for our lives often isn’t easy, but the results are always worth it … if we’ll be diligent to our calling.

by MICHELLE S. COX in Leading Hearts Magazine

THE MERRIAM-WEBSTER ONLINE DICTIONARY DEFINES THE WORD DILIGENCE AS “STEADY, EARNEST, AND ENERGETIC EFFORT.”

I can’t think of a better word for the year than diligence — for us to put steady, earnest and energetic efforts into serving God.

For those of you who have seen Hallmark’s When Calls the Heart television series, you know that Elizabeth Thatcher experienced many moments when she had to decide whether or not she was going to be diligent.

This young woman traveled west in 1915 to become a schoolteacher.

Before she even arrived in Coal Valley (as it was called then), she was the victim of stagecoach robbers. When a bedraggled Elizabeth finally arrived, she was taken aback by the hardscrabble coal town, and she received anything but a warm welcome from the women there.

She could easily have chosen to go back to her affluent lifestyle.

It would have been simple to stay in the home of her wealthy parents, but she was diligent and stuck with her calling to teach.

When she accidentally burned down the house where she was staying, and when she discovered that her classroom was in the saloon, she could certainly have been excused for returning to her old home — but she stayed and became a rock-steady influence in the lives of her students.

Elizabeth was kidnapped and tied up. The church caught on fire the day before her wedding, and then her beloved Jack died shortly after they were married. It was enough to make most of us say, “I quit.”

But after mourning her husband’s loss, she went right back to what she’d been doing — loving on the folks of Hope Valley (the new name of the town) and teaching their children with earnest effort.

Elizabeth was diligent despite the ups and downs of her life and besides her heartaches. And her efforts made a difference in countless lives. Faithful diligence makes a difference.

Just as Elizabeth was called to teach, God has called each of us to the purpose He has for us.

Our experiences will be different from Elizabeth’s, but we will also face difficulties, discouragement, situations that seem promising and then fall apart, and moments where we even question what we’re doing.

Sound familiar?

The path to fulfilling God’s plans for our lives often isn’t easy, but the results are always worth it … if we’ll be diligent to our calling.

God gives us some great examples in the Bible. Moses stood at the edge of the Red Sea. He saw the water before them and the soldiers behind them, but he was diligent and trusted God.

Because of that, Moses and the Children of Israel watched in wonder as God parted the sea for them to cross to safety.

When Abraham was called to go to a land he’d never seen, he was diligent to set out in faith, believing that the God who had called him was completely faithful.

A young shepherd boy was called to face down a giant — a task that grown men had turned down with fear. But David was diligent. Armed with God and five smooth stones, that young lad slew the giant.

When called upon to go before the king (which might possibly cause her death), Esther was diligent to do what God wanted her to do — and the Jews were saved.

Sweet friend, are you being diligent when it comes to the tasks to which God’s called you?

If God has called you — and you will remain diligent — you can trust Him to provide all that you need to be successful.

Michelle Cox is the co-author of the When God Calls the Heart devotional book series. To learn more, visit www. whenGodcallstheheart.com.

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