We’ve had a good Labor Day. Taking advantage of the last day of summer before school starts, we concentrated on spending the day together. We missed my oldest, Keli, who had to work today. But we had fun–playing miniature golf (at which I completely skunked everyone else) and letting the guys Go-Kart. It was a sacrifice of money, but well- worth it. We had tremendous fun together.
Before I had to start working in order to provide for my family, I’d never really given much thought to the concept of labor. Sure, I’d held jobs through the years–mostly substitute teaching and working as teacher’s aids, a stint as a social worker, and a couple of librarian jobs. But now my family’s well-being rests on my ability to provide for them. I take labor very seriously now.
The privilege of a job and the ability to work is a gift from God. With the economy the way it is, jobs are scarce. My oldest son has been looking for a part-time job diligently for the past 6 months, and yet has not been able to land even a job at McDonald’s. My oldest daughter just got a new job thanks to knowing someone who put in a good word for her. It’s tough out there.
Colossians 3:23-24 reads:
23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
These verses are great encouragement in the midst of discouragement over my-and my family’s-future. Verse 23 is not a suggestion. I am to work heartily. What a great word; “heartily”. To me that encircles working hard, working passionately–no matter what the task is at hand. As for the Lord and not for men–wow. Do I really operate that way? Do I work as though I am working for my God and not for man? How differently I imagine my efforts would look if I really kept this concept central in the way that I approach my labor.
But verse 24 reminds me to know–to remember in my labor–that my inheritance from God is my reward. That encourages me to keep pressing forward. To not give up to despair and fear of the future. God has provided, will continue to provide. And He has called me to work, and to work hard. I am reminded that I am serving the Lord Christ in my labor.
I saw a tweet this morning from someone–I don’t remember who–that tweeted that they were praying for single parents with full custody of children, who have to work diligently to provide for their families. It stirred me up a bit. I’m so very tired. It’s a tough road to haul. But I am grateful to be able to work, I am grateful for my job, and I am grateful for the provision that God continues to grant day in and day out.