As we celebrate Labor Day this week I couldn’t help but think, as we begin the busy fall season of getting back to school, back to work, football games, fall festivals, work, school fundraisers, PTA meetings, work, cutting grass, raking leaves, work, trick-or-treating, backyard bbq’s, work, grocery shopping, birthday parties, work, work, Work, WOrk, WORk, WORK, WWOORRRRKKK!!! How much do we all need a rest from our labor. Life is so full of so many good things! But without the balance of rest, we will ultimately fall apart. It can become overwhelming when we work all the time and sometimes we just don’t see the results or feel like any of it is paying off.
Two things came to mind as I reflected on this. Two critical things that I sometimes forget about or overlook in the everyday buzz of activity and the hectic pace of life.
Number 1 – God created us for work and for rest. God gave us work as a blessing! In the garden of Eden, in perfection and paradise God gave us work because it was good. Work gave us purpose, meaning, and fulfillment. But when sin enters the picture, work becomes frivolous, fruitless, and frustrating. But God created a special day of rest, a Sabbath day, so that man could release his frustrations, find his energy recharged and ultimately, contemplate meaning and derive purpose once again. One special day a year dedicated to rest from our labor (Labor Day) will not cut it! God rested on the seventh day after creating the universe, not because He was tired, but rather so He might set the pattern of work and rest for man. God created us for work and for rest.
Number 2 – Nothing we do for the Kingdom of God is in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58 says this: “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Sometimes I must admit that I feel like nothing I do matters. There are times when it seems like everything I do fails, nothing is getting through…”God am I really supposed to do this?” I feel frustrated, because everything I do seems frivolous and fruitless. Maybe, just maybe, I need some rest. Time to reflect on verses like this that help redirect me back to the purpose, meaning and fulfillment I have in following Jesus. I need to be reminded once again by God’s Word that I can stand firm – keep doing the work of the Gospel, don’t move – keep in the place God has put me, give everything – I can give my full effort to Jesus knowing that none of it is wasted!
There’s a lot of things to look forward to this busy season…get the rest you need, and give all you have for the work of the Lord – it’s not in vain, and in the end, it’s the only thing that really matters.
In Christ’s Love