Day 10

Fallen and Redeemed Work

from the Mourning and Dancing reading plan


Genesis 3:17-19, Ecclesiastes 2:18-26, Romans 8:19-23, Ecclesiastes 9:9-10a, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:23, Philippians 2:12-16

God created us as complex creatures, capable of feeling and sensing a whole garden of emotions. Made in the image of our Creator, we can both grieve the wrongs of this world, and celebrate the sweetness of this life.

This 2-week reading plan will lead us through a series of passages from Scripture that examine the seasons of mourning and dancing in the life of a believer. In the written responses here on the site, our writers will enter into this tension, articulating their personal experiences with grief and joy in hopes of freeing you to explore your own. By immersing our hearts and minds in God’s Word, and honestly presenting our laments to Him, may we remember that God is present with us, He is good, and He is faithful.

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Text:
Fallen Work Scriptures—
Genesis 3:17-19, Ecclesiastes 2:18-26, Romans 8:19-23
Redeemed Work Scriptures—Ecclesiastes 9:9-10a, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:23, Philippians 2:12-16

Today was hard. Wait. Actually, today was awful.

Everything about my job was frustrating. I felt like a man working on an assembly line but every widget on the conveyer belt was broken and needed to be fixed. And none were the same. Every widget consisted of a different variety of pieces. And the belt kept bringing them on and on, endlessly, until I clocked out.

I was not dreaming; this was my day. I have a lot of days like this and, honestly, I am not sure if it will ever end. Some nights I lie in dread at the coming of the next day.

“For what does a man get with all his work and all his efforts that he labors at under the sun? For all his days are filled with grief, and his occupation is sorrowful; even at night, his mind does not rest. This too is futile.”
– Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

Believe it or not, one of the things that has helped me the most over the past 5 years of working in the business world—a world for which I was never trained—has been acknowledging how frustrating it really is. I kept thinking, “This is not the way it’s supposed to be.” And it took me a while to realize, that’s a holy thought.

The Bible is clear. When God tells Adam that the ground is cursed and his work will now be hard, it reminds me that work is not bad, but it will never be what it was supposed to be until Jesus returns.

When I realize that nothing—not even this frustrating job—can separate me from the love of God because of the work of Jesus, the Holy Spirit moves and I see glimpses of the glory of God and His redeeming work in and through my work. I get to be kind to others in a sometimes cold environment. I get to enjoy other people’s kindness. And I have even smiled at the brilliance of the people I work with.

There are times I know that, in my work, I am pushing back against the fall itself.

Today was awful. But it’s not supposed to be. And when I sit at my desk and groan at the day before me, I know that I am groaning, as Paul said, with all of creation, eagerly waiting for the redemption of our everything (Romans 8:22). Even our work.

That is a holy thought. A prayer, even.

Written By Matthew B. Redmond

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