To say last week was a rough week at work would be an understatement. My vocation is at times physically demanding and nearly daily mentally taxing. I build and install electrical signs. Some signs are easier to make than others and some installation sites are in less than desirable locations. But this is what I do to support my ministry hobby.
At least I am in good company because God was the first sign installer. It’s true right there in Genesis 1:14 Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. Admittedly God’s signs are considerably more impressive than the ones I put up.
Like most people I sometimes think my job is a curse or a punishment. The truth is work was never intended as either. Man was immediately given work upon creation. Genesis 2:15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Not only did God create man but he created him with a desire to work and a purpose to accomplish. It was after sin entered the world that work became difficult. As God declared punishment on man and woman for their sin He said; Genesis 3:17-19 And to the man he said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. 18 It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. 19 By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.” Notice work was not the punishment just difficulty in the work. Work is not a curse. But the curse, that came as a result of sin, made work much harder. It still holds true that we are given a purpose in work but, it is through toilsome labor that we have food and provisions.
Almost all of us know the difficulty in working as unto the Lord. Solomon, who was the wisest man who ever lived, gave us these words of encouragement; Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. 13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God. Also in 3:22 So I saw that there is nothing better for people than to be happy in their work. That is our lot in life. And no one can bring us back to see what happens after we die.
Work will never be truly satisfying to those who strive for riches, status, or power. But for those who recognize work is a gift from God it is possible to enjoy life and the provisions we are given.
Rev. Burt Schwab