Every Saturday morning, we devote time to household chores. Clean the bathrooms, vacuum, dust, mop, and water plants. While we may try to “whistle while we work,” the truth remains, we view these chores as, well, a chore. Living requires working, and often, we do it with drudgery, dragging our feet, and moaning–not whistling!–all the way.
It wasn’t always like this, however. It definitely wasn’t God’s intention for our experience of work.
In Genesis 1, our origin story, we read that right after God breathed humans into existence, He gave them something to do. We actually read FIVE action words in this passage:
Furthermore, God did not simply command humankind to DO;
He equipped them for their work.
“I have given you every seed-bearing plant [. . .] and every tree whose fruit contains seed [. . .]
I have given every green plant for food.” (Genesis 1:29-30, emphasis mine)
Continuing to Genesis 2, we learn God supplied everything humans required to flourish and grow. Life was perfect.
But then the sneaky serpent enters the scene and snatches away Adam and Eve’s confidence in God. (Genesis 3) He plants his own seeds of mistrust into Adam and Eve’s minds. From that point on, with the deadly combination of temptation and free will, humans choose to trust themselves over their Creator, and perfection is lost.
Genesis 3:17-19 states that one consequence for sin is that work would now become arduous, a thing of pain and struggle rather than purpose, fulfillment, joy, and provision.
And herein lies why chores are a chore.
However, the story did not end in Genesis 3.
Christ came and redeemed the curse by bearing the just wrath of God for sin in our place. (Galatians 3:10-14)
So the question remains, why do we STILL endure hardship in our work?
Why do we so often struggle to find purpose in the toiling of our minds, hearts, and hands? Why is so much futility, struggle, and pain wrapped up in our labor?
I believe it is because we live in “the now and the not yet.” While Christ redeemed the curse through His death and resurrection, we have not yet experienced His return when all of creation, including work, will be rebirthed with eternal perfection. (Revelation 21:1-5)
Until then, we toil and strive, committing the work of our hands to God’s purposes. (Psalm 90:16-17) Just as God gave Adam and Eve everything they needed to work, we can be assured He gives us all we need for our work as well.
“His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3, emphasis mine)
Truth? Sometimes, we don’t feel equipped to handle the assignment.
For me, motherhood stands top of that list.
From the beginning of my journey as a parent, I felt set up for failure.
I carried twins in my first pregnancy; my boys were born by emergency C-section after 17 hours of induced labor. One son was quickly diagnosed with a rare syndrome which has required multiple specialists, surgeries, and other interventions.
Two and half years later, my daughter was born full term, but for reasons still unknown, could not breathe on her own for the first week of her life.
Two of my three children have developed seizure disorders.
All of my children have endured multiple traumas with a genetic disposition toward anxiety, creating what feels like one ongoing mental health crisis after another in my home.
And, more. Isn’t there always more to our stories than we can, or are willing, to share?
But, God knows.
God KNEW the struggles I would face. He knew the brokenness and hardship I would endure as a parent. Still, He made this promise to me: HE GIVES ME EVERYTHING I NEED FOR LIFE AND GODLINESS.
Friend, He gives YOU everything you need, too.
When we feel ill-equipped, or wrestle with the sometimes-overwhelming sense of futility in our work, we must harken back to those first moments between God and humankind. We must remember that, attached to the actions we are commanded to take for human flourishing, is GOD’s word of provision, “I have given…”
Remaining vestiges of sin seek to steal, kill, and destroy that which God has provided. (John 10:10) But, sin will not have the final word. Therefore, we can give ourselves fully to the work given to us today, knowing it will be empowered and redeemed by God.
Take a moment to picture what it would look like for God to use every single shred of your effort to create something of beauty, goodness, and truth. Let us imagine with you by sharing a snippet of what you’ve envisioned in the comments. Let’s trust together that God can and will do more than we could ask or imagine for the purpose of His glory and our good!
Eden Day 7
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