What does the word “WORK” mean to you? From our very beginning, we were brought into this world when our mother labored through the pangs of child birth. Work comes in all kinds of varieties. People work for wages, work raising children, work around the house, work at getting better at a sport, work on their hobbies, work in their garden, and for those who are out of work, just looking for work is work. Now let me ask you: “Do you offer your work up to God?” He wants us to! Please read more….
I grew up in Northern Ohio near an area known for its rich dark soil and the vegetables that it produced. Migrant workers would come every summer to work these fields. This work was long, arduous, monotonous, and back breaking and it yielded only a meager pay for those workers. Today millions of people still do the same thing to fill America’s super markets with the food that we all eat.
I watch both of my daughters with astonishment as they raise their children. I marvel at how much work my younger daughter, a single parent, and full time employee has to do every day while raising my granddaughter. Now I watch my older daughter with amazement as she juggles her duties as a mom, a nurse, and a wife. She rises early to breast feed her youngest one, gets the 2 year old ready for daycare, changes diapers, plans the family meals for the day, and tries to keep the kids quiet during the day so her husband, who works nights, can sleep during the day. She finishes the day exhausted only to repeat it all over the next day.
The same could be said for my daughter-in-law and their two children and for all of the moms out there who selflessly toil daily in the fields of motherhood. A mother’s work can be repetitive and mundane but it is some of the most important work done by anyone.
As human beings, God made us to work. Even before the fall of Adam and in fact even before Eve, Genesis 2:15 states: “The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the Garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it.” We see here that work is nothing new. It has been around as long as man. Even Jesus labored in the hard work of carpentry.
Work became even harder after the fall in the garden. Genesis 3:16-19 tells us that God told Eve that He would intensify her toil in childbearing, and He told Adam that thorns and thistles would grow in his garden and that it would require the sweat of his brow to eat.
Whatever work we are doing, whether it is work for wages, work around the house, or the work we put into our hobbies and sports we can and should offer this work up to God. He tells us this in Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others.”
As today’s title suggests, work is not play; but if we choose to offer our work to God, our work, although not fun, becomes worthwhile. Before starting any type of work we might try asking God to use our work to transform us into the person He wants us to be. We can offer the work of our hands and minds to Him as a gift. If we work around others, even some we may not particularly care for, we can offer up the effort of our work as a prayer for these work colleagues. There are many people who, due to physical disabilities and limitations, don’t have the ability to work, so we might conclude our prayer each morning with a prayer of thanks for the abilities and skills that we do have.
September 22nd marks the 6th anniversary of my weekly writings. After spending the majority of my life in the Financial Services profession, God put it on my heart in September of 2011 to start 4th Day Letters. I think there have only been 5 guest written letters during these past 6 years. I spend 5-10 hours or more researching, praying over and writing each week’s message. This is a labor of love for me. This type of work is easy to offer up to God. Other types of arduous and mundane work may be more difficult to offer up. It is important however, that we keep in mind that whatever our work is, we should do it in a way that is pleasing to God.
Heavenly Father, I offer up to You all of my work this day. Help me to make my work pleasing to you. To the extent that my work is burdensome, tedious or mundane, help me to see it as but a small sliver of your Son’s cross. Help me to carry out my work with dignity and love for you, amen.