The book of Genesis opens with a description of God at work. He worked six days and rested on the seventh day. His work was creative, extremely productive and had immeasurable value. He was very pleased.
We learn that God put Adam in the garden to work it and take care of it. Could that have been a gift from God? Perhaps God wanted man to also experience the joy and delight of creating and producing. Perhaps work was originally a great pleasure.
Originally, working the garden was never painful. There were no thorns and thistles. And it appears that Adam never even broke a sweat. But that all changed with the choice of sin.
Sin always has consequences. Work itself wasn’t the consequence for man’s sin. But the curse God placed upon the ground because of man’s disobedience resulted in painful consequences.
Man had been given dominion over all of creation (Genesis 1:26-30) but he lost that privilege. In Genesis 3:17-29, God foretold that creation would rebel. Thorns and thistles would have to be battled. Work would be difficult, exhausting and challenging.
Our souls yearn for restoration to the way things were before the fall. We innately want all things made right. We want an end to devastating earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and tsunamis. We want our roses without thorns. We want to whistle while we work. We want to rightfully rule over creation again. It’s this inner desire that propels mankind to fight for restoration and healing when earth’s catastrophes strike. We rush to help the victims of these tragedies. We rebuild. We repair. We refurnish. We rehabilitate. We replant.
I think this is the same desire that propels people to try to tackle Mount Everest. It’s why some explore the depths of the ocean. It’s why we sent men to the moon. We want to conquer. We were made to rule over creation.
Good news! Our Savior came, introduced Himself, and showed us the way to reconciliation, wholeness and restoration. And He created the church to continue His good work. We have been given the assurance that the work will be totally completed upon Jesus’ return.
Until then, the church is given a new perspective. Work can be fulfilling, have kingdom value and be rich in opportunities.
Secular work is more than a chore. It has a spiritual nature. Work produces so we can enjoy…and share. Work opens doors for us step into our roles of ambassadors, sharing the message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). It becomes an opportunity to serve others, even those who resemble “thorns and thistles,” in our workplaces. And working with a biblical perspective becomes an act of worship.
We are truly God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which He prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Our works have intention. They have value.
Many people search for significance, value, identity and purpose in their work only to be sorely disappointed and frustrated. Christ followers discover that our immeasurable worth will only be found in Christ. He proved how valuable we are when He laid down His life for us. He bestowed significance on us. And He has given us purpose far beyond anything this world offers. For these reasons, we can whistle while we work.
Thought to ponder:
Do I view work as a gift from God? If so, what am I doing with my gift?