“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9
“Girls, we’re meeting with the Cooper’s tonight. We’ll be having our Bible study in the dining-room, so we’ll have supper and cleanup early tonight.”
Hope and Grace looked up from their books they had been reading. “Will we be babysitting the children again?” Hope asked.
“Yes.” Mrs. Reid surveyed the living-room. “So you will need to get this room toddler friendly.
The Coopers were a young family from church. For several weeks now, they had been meeting with Mr. and Mrs. Reid for Bible studies as they worked through some things they were dealing with.
Grace put her book down and looked around the room. Her guitar stood in one corner; that would need put away. If she hurried with everything else, she might have time to practice the new finger-picking style she was trying to learn. Already she had been practicing for nearly a month, and she had made only a little progress.
The two girls quickly straightened the living-room, pulled out the two boxes of children’s toys from the hall closet, and moved a few decor items to places out of reach of the three little Coopers.
When the housework was done and supper was in the oven, Grace sat on the couch to practice guitar. Time after time, she tried to figure out the style she was learning. But always she got her fingers mixed up, and she just couldn’t figure out how to do it.
“If only I still had my guitar teacher. She could have helped me. Why did she have to move?” Grace attempted the song one more time, but in frustration, she ended with a loud strumming. Putting her guitar in the case, she took it up to her room. “Maybe someday I’ll figure it out.”
That evening at supper, Mr. Reid asked, “Samuel, did you talk to Mr. Mason today about him hiring you on part time.”
“Yes, I went by his shop this afternoon and asked him if he was still hiring. He said his sister had just called to ask if he could hire her son to work with him. Since he’s family, he felt obligated to do it, so he won’t be needing me right now.”
“That’s too bad.” Mr. Reid spread a thick layer of apple butter on his cornbread. “I know that’s the kind of work you’ve been wanting to learn for quite awhile now.”
“If it’s God’s will, He’ll open the door in His time, Sam. And if it’s not His will, He’ll bring along something even better.” Mrs. Reid smiled encouragingly at her eldest son.
When the visitors had left that evening, the Reids gathered in the living-room for prayer. Grace looked around the room at the scattered toys, disarranged couch pillows, and assorted sippy cups. The Cooper children were certainly a handful, and she was exhausted.
As different family members shared prayer requests, Mrs. Reid said, “Pray for the Coopers, that the verses we studied tonight will really sink in to their hearts.”
Grace noticed her parents exchange looks. Though they never said much, she and her siblings knew that their meetings with the Coopers were usually discouraging. Mr. and Mrs. Cooper seemed to enjoy the Bible studies, but it didn’t seem they were learning anything. The children were getting more and more unruly, and they sometimes told stories about their parents’ disagreements.
Mr. Reid led the family in prayer, praying for the Coopers and for Samuel to find a part-time job.
“I-can’t-get-it.” With each word, Grace loudly strummed her guitar.
“What’s wrong?” Hope looked up from her easel where she was painting a watercolor picture.
“I can’t figure out this style of picking. I’ve practiced and practiced, and I’m worse than when I started.”
“I wish I could help you, but you know way more about guitar playing than I do.”
“Thanks, Hope. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to continue without a teacher. Why did Mrs. Norton have to move?” With a thump, she closed her music book. “I guess I’m through for today.”
She wandered into the kitchen to find a snack. There she found Samuel helping himself to some leftover brownies.
“Can I have some?” she asked.
Samuel grinned. “If you pour me a glass of milk, you can.”
“Deal. I’ll make that two glasses of milk.”
When they were situated at the bar with their snack, Samuel asked, “What was that noise I heard from the living-room earlier. It didn’t sound like your normal playing.”
“I was fed up.” Grace took a sip of her milk. “No matter how hard I try, I can’t learn this new style of finger-picking.”
“Sounds about like me. No matter how hard I try, I can’t find a job. There was one job today I was sure I’d get. Mr. West always needs helpers on his farm, but he said he doesn’t need anyone right now.”
“Well, he doesn’t pay well, so there’s that to remember.”
“I know. But at least it would be a job. I can’t even get a job flipping hamburgers. I thought that was always a last resort if nothing else worked out.”
“You’re both doing good things.”
Grace and Samuel turned around suddenly. They had not heard Joseph come into the kitchen.
“What do you mean, Joe?” Samuel asked.
“Looking for a job and playing guitar are good things. I read a verse yesterday that said to not be weary in doing good because if you didn’t give up, it would eventually pay off.”
“Oh, Galatians 6:9 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” I guess that is a good verse for both of us, Sam. Thanks for the reminder, Joey. I won’t give up on practicing guitar. Instead, I’ll remember Galatians 6:9 when I’m struggling.”
“And I’ll keep looking for a job. Thanks, Joe.”
“You’re welcome. Now can I have some brownies, too?”
For several more days, Grace practiced faithfully. Remembering Galatians 6:9, she no longer let out her frustration with loud, jangling chords.
Samuel interviewed for three more jobs. One of them he was not qualified for, and the others someone else was in line ahead of him and was given the job. He tried not to become discouraged and to remember what his mom had said about God having something better for him. If he only knew what the better thing was.
The weekly Bible studies still went on. Sometimes it seemed Mr. and Mrs. Reid were making progress with the Coopers. Other times it seemed like they weren’t helping a bit.
One afternoon, there was an unexpected knock at the door. Grace opened it and saw Mrs. Cooper. “Come in.” She smiled invitingly.
She led the way into the living-room while Faith went to find Mrs. Reid.
As they waited for Mrs. Reid to come downstairs, Mrs. Cooper noticed Grace’s guitar. “Who plays guitar?” she asked.
“I do,” answered Grace. “I’ve been trying to learn finger-picking, but so far it hasn’t gone well.”
“Oh, I used to do finger-picking. What style are you learning?”
Grace handed Mrs. Cooper the book. After flipping through it, she said, “This is what I played. I’m sure I’m rusty, but I could give you some pointers if you would like.”
Grace’s eyes lit up. “Oh, I’d love that! I’ve been so close to just giving up.”
“Yes, I know that feeling.” Mrs. Cooper seemed to be speaking more to herself than to Grace.
Just then, Mrs. Reid entered the living-room. She and Mrs. Cooper went into the dining-room for coffee and a visit.
Before leaving, Mrs. Cooper again told Grace she would be happy to help her with guitar.
“I’m sure we could work out swapping some babysitting for guitar lessons,” Mrs. Reid offered.
Grace was overjoyed. She hadn’t conquered the difficult finger-picking style, but she was going to have help! She was seeing the truth of Galatians 6:9.
That evening in family devotions, Mrs. Reid shared, “Lacey Cooper and I had a long talk today. She said she hasn’t always shown it, but the Bible studies have been a real blessing to her. God has really been working on her heart, and she is learning to rely on Him to help her be the wife and mother He wants her to be. That’s an answer to prayer. We also need to keep praying for Josh. That he will come to the same place Lacey has come to.”
A few days later, the phone rang. Hope answered it, then went in search of Samuel. “Sam, it’s Mr. Mason.”
Samuel went to take the phone call. A few minutes later, he rushed into the living-room where most of the family was gathered. “Mr. Mason offered me a job!”
“Really? What about his nephew?” Grace asked.
“He said the nephew was more interested in playing video games than working. Plus he wasn’t careful and had a couple close calls with some of the power tools. So he let him go and is going to give me the job!”
“Oh, Sam, that’s a wonderful answer to prayer. You’ve wanted to learn woodworking for so long.” Mrs. Reid beamed, her smile almost as big as Samuel’s. “God gave you His best, and He did it in His timing.”
“And now you can keep on doing good things and not get discouraged when it doesn’t go well,” added Joseph. “Just like Galatians 6:9 says.”