In my novella, Proving Up, in The Homestead Brides Collection, my characters need to prove that they have successfully complied with the regulations of their homesteading claim agreement in order to earn the title to the property they have been managing. They called this process “proving up”.
There are times in my life when I’ve had to “prove up” to earn a claim to something as well, and I’m certain you have too. Perhaps an award or certificate, a job promotion, a position or role, an earned contract, a satisfied loan, financial achievement, trust in a relationship, admiration and respect. The list goes on. It’s called life. We are constantly having to maintain responsibilities and meet requirements in this world to present ourselves as qualified. To be considered worthy.
Don’t you get tired from striving? I know I do.
It can be wearisome trying to impress others to accomplish our dreams and goals. And in some situations it seems that no matter how hard we try, obstacles abound. Sometimes it even seems as though there is no pleasing others no matter how hard we try. This is when we really need to take God’s Word to heart and not give over to the bitterness that might result from our disappointments. We need to trust that He will redirect us on a path that will satisfy His purpose for us. This happens when we allow our expectation to be from Him and not from the approval of others.
But sometimes there is no pleasing even ourselves as we fail to recognize when our good is good enough. This perpetual striving can cause burnout or even despair. Our fear of failure, or perceived failure, becomes a slave master. That fear can even propel us to desperate action whereby we can be tempted to compromise our values in the name of achievement and acceptance. This not only can rob our joy in the journey, but can thwart our efforts.
Time to get off the vicious treadmill and start really going places because in Christ Jesus you have already been made perfect. You are already acceptable. You have nothing to prove! It’s done. You see, God’s approval is not earned. It is received. When you accept His gift of Life through repentance and faith, Christ’s righteousness covers you. Frees you. Ask God to help you truly embrace this truth.
All the Lord requires of you in your endeavors is to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him. So next time you have something to prove, give it everything you’ve got and trust Him for the outcome. And don’t forget, the true proof of success is found in the journey.
CarlaOlsonGadeDevotionalProvingUp Native New Englander Carla Olson Gade writes adventures of the heart with historical roots from her home amid the rustic landscapes of Maine. With seven books in print, she is always imaging more stories and enjoys bringing her tales to life with historically authentic settings and characters. An avid reader, amateur genealogist, photographer, and house plan hobbyist, Carla’s great love (next to her family) is historical research. Though you might find her tromping around an abandoned homestead, an old fort, or interviewing a docent at a historical museum, it’s easier to connect with her online at carlaolsongade.com.
Promises of free land lure thousands of hardy homesteaders to pull up stakes and head west to establish new settlements on the Great Plains. Follow nine couples as they pursue their dreams, deal with hardship, and encounter romance in their quest to build a bright future. A celebration of true grit and steadfast faith. In Carla Olson Gade’s novella, Proving Up, Elsa Lindstrom applies her scientific theories to growing trees on the Nebraska plains, intruding on a handsome homesteader’s hard work and experience. Will their dreams come to ruin, or will love prove their success? The Homestead Brides Collection is available here: http://tinyurl.com/provingup.