I want to address something that has weighed heavily on my heart as I have made my way through high school. Why do we feel so overcome by despair when we have piles of work to do? What is the point of doing it all? I know personally I have laid down at night and cried out to God, “Why do I have to do all of this God? Why can’t I just worry about food and shelter instead of research papers, tests, or applications to college? Why all the hard work God?” A sense of depression sets in when we think of our work in that regard. When we think of work we think of it as a lot of tedious, time-consuming tasks that we have to do if we ever want to “succeed in life.” We start to think about life after college where we will have to get up five to six days out of the week and spend our day working. All of this so we can do what: Retire when we are old and can finally relax? If that is what we are working towards, then yes, getting up at 5:00 in the morning to study for a test or catch the bus to your office will seem rather pointless. This type of thinking can easily lead to depression and a sense of uselessness. However, this is not how God commands us to view our lives.
We are part of something much more glorious than a race to get enough money so we can retire. For starters, God created us for work. One of the first things God commanded Adam to do was to name all the animals (Gen. 2:19). This was work! And Adam also was commanded to tend to the garden, which was again work. Genesis 2:15 reads “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” We were not created to simply sit around and enjoy God’s creation. Yes, we should admire the world God has made, but we also have a duty to take care of it. Of course, work became much harder because of the fall, but the point is work is not a result of the fall. The monotony and pain of work is because of the fall.
So, if work is not a curse, but rather the difficulty of work is the curse, we can then look at why God created us. God did not need us, but rather He created us for His own glory. Therefore, we are to glorify God in all that we do. So perhaps we should take a different approach when we think of our work. We are doing what God created us to do, and we should glorify Him through our work. If we accept this and ask for God to use us and our work to further His work, then we are part of something much richer than just accumulating wealth so we can live in ease when we grow old. So yes, work is hard. That will never go away until God comes again. But if we think of our work as a pawn being used by a master chess player, then that puts it in a whole new perspective. I thank the Lord that He works through our sinful beings and our faulty work to show His glory and bring others to Christ.
Garrett Hildago studies at TPS and is on staff at TPS Chapel