The Blessing of Work
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. Genesis 2:15
Work may be a four-letter word, but that does not mean that it is bad. In Genesis chapter 2, God’s creation of man and woman flow from the responsibility to care for the land that God had created. God created the man, placing him in the garden “to work it and keep it.” Before the Fall, work was indeed good, a calling given to man by God. However, after the Fall, the effects of sin reached not only relationships, but also tainted everything that humanity would experience, including the working of the ground, now cursed with thorns and thistles.
Sadly, work has been so maligned by our society that it is deemed by many to be something bad and futile. The Christian worldview, rooted in the Scriptures, helps humanity to see a calling by God with the gifts He gives and among the people with whom He surrounds you. Work remains the Christian response to God in stewarding His creation by means of our hands and feet, mouths and minds. There is certainly a place for rest, as God designed, but there is also a calling that is work by which God uses us to care for His world with our respective abilities.
God’s design for His humanity is work. We even can look forward to paradise restored in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. There the curse will be lifted and we will return to the garden, that is paradise, where we can now eat freely from the tree of life. “No longer will there be anything accursed,” we read in Revelation 22:3. There will be no futility or sweat, no thorns or thistles, only the joyous work of opening our hands to receive the gifts that God gives without the effects of sin interfering. Until that day, rather than complaining about the work to which God calls us, may we find delight in being His instruments of care for His creation and look forward to the day when the curse will be no more.
Prayer – Heavenly Father, grant Your mercy and grace to Your people in their many and various callings. Give them patience and strengthen them in their Christian vocation of witness to the world and of service to their neighbor in Christ’s name, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan