Happy Labor Day! This is the day we celebrate the good of work by taking a day off from work. Does that seem strange to you too? Yet, here we are, and I think it’s a good day to remember that work is a good thing.
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15). Note that this is before the fall into sin. Meaning that work was part of the design of a perfect world. God made us to work.
Work is seldom seen as a good thing in our day. Whether it be the work we do to bring home the bacon, the work we do to keep our houses up, the work we need to do to keep our marriages strong and to raise Godly children, or the work we need to do to fight off temptation and live a life of praise, we tend to balk and grumble and gripe and look forward to a break. We want to find the shortcuts, the ways around the harder work, rather than finding satisfaction in work that is hard.
It is healthy, then, to recall that the only reason work is sometimes drudgery is because of sin – sin in the world and sin in our lives. (Notice I say drudgery – work can be hard but still pleasant, but sin makes it drudgery). And Jesus came to redeem us, not just from the eternal consequences of sin, but to give our life – and all the work we do – true meaning by working through us for his own glory. The thing I’ve found in my life is that when I have lots of hard work to do (and I stop griping and get to work), I tend to find more satisfaction, and I’m much less likely to waste time on things that are just no good for me. I can take joy in a job well done.
It’s been said this way: “A man is like a truck – he drives better with a full load.” Work is good, and we can praise God for it.