“In trusting Him, we can rest in our work, even as we work hard.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 29, 2023
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24
There was a season of my life when I was hustling in my career, working hard to make things happen—and I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.
One afternoon I knelt on the floor, pressed my forehead into the carpet, and called out to God. I asked the Lord to calm my anxious heart. My mind turned to my emotions, and I named what I felt: abandoned.
Even though intellectually I knew this wasn’t true, I felt as if everything I accomplished was up to me. In that time of prayer, I asked Jesus to show me the very first time I experienced the emotion of being abandoned, hoping that maybe something would make sense about the anxiety I felt.
In my mind’s eye, I saw myself as a baby and I crawled onto my father’s back while he was watching television. I wanted to pull on the key chain that was tied to his belt. As soon as I began to tug on the keys, my dad rolled over and scolded me and told me to “Get off!” That was that first moment I felt abandoned.
In that moment the Lord gently spoke to my spirit and said something like this: “There are people who strive and work very hard. They have many material things—and they are working very hard because they are terrified of being abandoned. They believe that if they don’t take care of themselves that I won’t take care of them.” Then the Lord reminded me that he will always take care of me and that I could stop striving in life and in my work. I was so grateful for this word from Christ.
This is the tricky part of working, of having a career, and cultivating a good work ethic, right?
On one hand, the Lord wants us to be disciplined. Yes, he wants us to work hard. However, we can experience stress in our work, or joy in our work. It all depends on how we approach it. We can approach it as someone who knows the Lord or someone who does not.
The non-believer thinks it’s all up to them: “If there are good results, I’m going to make it happen” so they work and work and work. Although they may experience satisfaction when success comes, this kind of approach to work can bring exhaustion and burn out because we have not been created to carry our burdens alone.
As a believer in Christ, of course we are to work as unto the Lord, of course we are to hustle and work hard like the non-believer. But in that hustle, a believer needn’t look like the non-believer who thinks it’s all up to them. And that makes all the difference.
As followers of Christ, we can trust that the Lord can work through us to accomplish more than we imagined and to accomplish His will. In trusting Him, we can rest in our work, even as we work hard because we know we are not alone in our endeavors. God has our back.
In his book, “Called to Create” Jordan Raynor writes, “God needs your discipline. He needs you to hustle . . . The difference is, as Christians, we know our hustle is only part of the equation. Ultimately, it is God who will produce the results through us and is thus worthy of all the glory.”
“The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights” (Habakkuk 3:19).
Lord, thank you that you are working through me to accomplish your will in my work. Help me to continually remember that you are with me, helping me in my work. It’s not all up to me, and for that I am so grateful.
Take time throughout the day to remember that the Lord is with you in your work, helping you to accomplish what you need to accomplish.
Mara Lawrence: God is My Provider
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