Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go… Remember the seven dwarfs singing as they headed off to work? Does that describe your Monday mornings?
Unfortunately, many of us view work as a necessary evil. Though the curse certainly added sweat and thorns to our labor, work is not part of the curse.
Working and Resting with God
Do you have lots of tasks to juggle? The first couple managed a zoo, aquarium, farm, and botanical garden. They were also charged to rear a family.
Yet they were not overwhelmed.
Adam and Eve knew who owned the enterprise. They also knew their Creator was their Provider. He supplied everything they needed to prosper, including wisdom, strength, and sunshine. He prepared every detail for their prosperity. In fact, rest was part of His formula for success.
In their initial two days of life, God showed the first couple how to work and rest with Him. He created Adam on the sixth day and introduced him to his vocation. Together, they went to work. Imagine the fun they shared as Adam dreamed up names for every type of animal and bird God brought him. “I’ll call the striped one zebra and that fellow with the funny nose a rhinoceros.”
On Adam and Eve’s second day, God rested with them. Sadly, humankind’s fall into sin marred this relationship and brought a curse on the earth. Pain accompanied the blessing of bearing children. Obstacles fretted away the delight of productive labor. Sin created power struggles within families.
Christ came to restore our relationship with God and each other. One day, He’ll remove the curse from the earth (Romans 8:21). But even now, because of Christ, we can work and rest with God again.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephes. 2:10 NLT).
The Sacredness of Work
I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is try to please everybody. ~ Herbert Bayard Swope
Sin brought a curse on the world. Adam could no longer freely enjoy the delicious fruit of the garden. Thick ropes of poisonous vines, weeds, and briars now choked the fruit Adam once took for granted.
Sin infects every aspect of our lives. We, like Adam and Eve, feel our nakedness—exposure—in a dangerous and unpredictable world. To shield ourselves, we hide behind the fig leaves of busyness, accolades, and material possessions. Feeling vulnerable is one of the thorns of living in a fallen world.
The awareness of risk can cause us to look at work in an unhealthy manner. When work becomes a harsh taskmaster or usurps God’s rightful place as Lord and provider, it’s time to refocus. Are we expecting our jobs to supply what only God can give?When #work becomes a harsh taskmaster or usurps God’s rightful place as Lord and provider, it’s time to refocus. Are we expecting our jobs to supply what only God can give? #trust Click To Tweet
What difference would it make if you viewed Jesus as your provider and your work as a way to serve Him? Would it help if the one who ruled your work understood the pressures in your home? How would working for Jesus affect your attitude, energy, and motivation?
Sometimes a simple switch in focus is all we need to restore our joy.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24 NIV).
Try working to please only Jesus this week. Let me know if you find yourself whistling.
Adapted from Give Yourself a Break
Fall Bible Study for Women
This fall, I’ll be leading an eleven-week online study for women on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. EST on Little Women, Big God.