Fallen and Redeemed Work
Open Your Bible
Genesis 3:17-19, Ecclesiastes 2:18-26, Romans 8:19-23, Ecclesiastes 9:9-10, 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, one where every widget on the conveyor belt was broken and needed to be fixed. And none were the same! Every widget consisted of some 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 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 (Genesis 3:17), 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 (Romans 8:38–39), 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 even smile 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 8:22–23). Even our work.
That is a holy thought. A prayer, even.
Written by Matt Redmond