Conversations about Work

Written By Amy

                           “May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us–yes, establish the work of our hands.”  Psalm 90:17

As we know, life has seasons.  For many years, my husband, Jonathan, and I were in a season of raising young children.  So much of our daily thought and energy revolved around their needs.  Our kids are older now, and more independent, and while I would put one label of “Soccer Mom and Dad” on Jon and myself, a more deeply threaded season of “work” seems to permeate our thoughts and energy right now. I have mentioned before in this blog the instability of my husband’s airline career, and that I began working a couple of jobs about a year and a half ago to help supplement income.  Since then Jonathan has started another side business, venturing into the healthy vending world, and the past six months have been filled with perseverance, hard work and commitment on his part to walk the path of starting a new business.  My working world has evolved in several areas…working as a mom and spouse to care for my family, an Orthopedic office job (which I love and was truly God’s blessing and perfect timing in my life), tutoring (also love!), and another business venture I am pursuing.  My plate is full. 

My tendency is to run through life, giving God a quick wave as I rush into the next thing.   Of course I pray and ask God for his will, but I am a hard charger into whatever is before me and I often don’t wait for his clear answer.  As of late, I am challenging myself with the question, “Do I really want to know the answer if it looks different from my own ideas?”  I have been truly praying, “God, is this work I am doing in your favor?  Is the path I am on in life in your plan for me?”    While I believe that right now I am fulfilling God’s plan in the areas of work in my life,  I have committed to listening for a different answer if there is one.

 The verse above speaks loudly to me.  The Lord’s favor is a priceless treasure, and if you look closely at the verse it says “establish the work of our hands for us…”  It does not say we should establish our work and then ask for God’s favor.  He will bring us work opportunities, ideas, visions…and if we pursue them in his name we will hear his encouragement and feel peace.  It is when there is no peace, unrest, or discontent with our work or our choices that we need to bend our ear to God’s soft voice, and listen.

Whatever it is that you do, whether it be changing diapers and having a continual shoulder full of spit-up, or schooling your children, or providing for your family with a career or side-job, pray that it is in the Lord’s favor, and ask God to establish the work of your hands for you, that it may be the very best plan He has for your life.

Happy Labor Day!

 Written By Amy

Happy Labor Day!  honestly, I don’t believe I have really thought much about this holiday except that it means my kids have a day off of school and involves a BBQ with friends later in the day.  This year I decided to give it a little more thought since I am now included in the vast masses of people who will have the day off of work tomorrow ( Moms, we are absolutely included in this holiday, but sorry, no day off!) So, in an attempt to educate myself I did a wee bit of research.  The first Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5th, 1982, and the definition follows:

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. 

That is such a positive purpose for work! In the daily grind, I often forget I am a small cog in the wheel of the American workforce. Whether you labor with your hands, swim in the corporate world,  serve at a restaurant, teach a craft, or stay at home with your kids, your work is meaningful.  Here are four things the bible has to say about work (the underlining is mine):

1. Your skills and talents are given to you by your Creator:

Then Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every skillful person in whom the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him, to come to the work to perform it.   Exodus 36:2

He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of workmanship, and to make skillful works, to work in gold, in silver, in brass, in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, who work in all kinds of skillful workmanship.  Exodus 35: 31-33

2.  Seek God for direction of what He wants your work to be:

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us–yes establish the work of our hands.  Psalm 90:17 NIV

3.  When we work our earthly job (whatever it is!) with the mindset that we are serving God, it gives us an entirely new attitude! This is especially encouraging to those of us who spent many, many hours wiping poopy bottoms, or if you work in a job with difficult people, or feel unfulfilled:

In all the work you are doing, work the best you can.  Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people.  Remember that you will receive your reward from the Lord, which he promised to his people.  You are serving the Lord Christ.    Colossians 3:23-24  NCV

4.  As Christians, we must be an example of Christ’s love to others. This passage is mostly speaking to slaves and masters, but I believe it applies to working under authority at any job:

Show yourself in all respects a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity and sound speech that cannot be censured…Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to talk back, not to pilfer, but to show complete and perfect fidelity, so that in everything they may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Savior.   Titus 2:6-10 NRSV

 

So, rest today.  Enjoy your family, your friends, and your free time….and then tomorrow, enjoy the work that God has set before you.

 

 

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