The Joy of Work – Proverbs 20

My friend John, an 80-plus-year-old, climbed two rungs up the step-ladder, making me a little nervous. He carefully set the palm-sized apples he found higher up in his tree in the bucket and chuckled at my comments about his safety.

used by permission. mossholder.stockxchng
used by permission. mossholder.stockxchng

I have arthritis to remind me that I’m not a young woman anymore, but being with John in his orchard makes me feel otherwise. I’ve known John a long time. In fact, when we started attending his church he and his wife were the first to welcome my young family into their home. I remember how he honored his aging mother. Now his children and grandchildren honor him.

But even at his age he tends his orchard – and grows fine fruit in abundance.

“Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing” (Proverbs 20:4 NIV).

When John led me to his trees he had no reason to doubt there’d be an ample harvest. He carried a knife to slice pieces of fruit for me to sample – because he’d been no sluggard. He cultivated and nurtured his crop, so he knew there were delicious apples waiting for him there.

“The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old” (verse 29).

The definition for glory in Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary is “public acknowledgment or adoration for an achievement.” So I’m publicly acknowledging John’s gifts and achievements, and though his physical strength isn’t what it once was, he’s got the gray hair to show he’s made some profitable investments.

Dear Lord, thank you for times of plowing and hard work. Help us to see opportunities to plant seeds and care for them, so we can have a harvest that benefits many. You are the wonderful God, and I love working for you. Thank you for the privilege of sharing the fruit of my labors with others. Amen.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

By Kathy Sheldon Davis

Kathy Sheldon Davis, contributing author of the books "Jesus Talked to Me Today" and "Seeking His Presence," and a finalist for the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade award, lives with her husband, Jerry, in Junction City, Oregon. Kathy enjoys mentoring and editing for other writers, making strangers into friends, and celebrating holidays with her extended family. She has also written for Warner Press since 2016 and posts devotions on her blog at .


  1. This devotion is great for we older people. Particularly when we wonder if we are through with the work of the Lord. We are never through until He says we are…Thanks for this word.

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