“Whatever you do, whether in word or in action, do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” – Colosians 3, v.17
Most today will spend about 1/3 of their working life at their place/location of work. We set the alarm, hit the snooze button a few times, crawl out of bed, get the early morning chores done, down some coffee, send everyone off to school, and then start the day. Lunchtime comes around 12 noon. Back to work shortly thereafter. But if we are all just honest, some days it’s a struggle to keep focused and honed in until the work is done, until the shift is over, or until it’s time to go home.
This can be the routine day after day, 5 or even 6 days a week. And many people ask and deeply wonder: “Is there a point, or a purpose, to all of this?” Come on now…everyone’s asked that at least once or twice.
Here is another question (or set of questions that arise, for the believing Christian): “How is my relationship with God growing in all of this?” or “Amidst all these work related issues, and problems, and deadlines…how can I flourish in my faith?”
Let me tell you this: I know it. I faced it. It was real in so many ways for many years. And here is the reality of what it can do: The temptation is to divide our life into at least 2 parts when work is concerned: (1) Life at work; and (2) Life with the church family. It can further divide from there, but let’s take these 2 for now.
Let’s interject this question, and trust me, it is a real and present question that God will integrate into your experience and situation. Here it is: “What is God’s expectation of me, at work? Surely He understands; surely He knows what I am facing at my workplace. He knows how busy and overloaded and tired I am. What is His expectation?”
In part, and get ready for this:
- He expects that those others, His other people at your workplace, will see your faith in action. Not just words. Not just a cute picture or a Scriptural passage hanging around your workstation. Not just your Cross earrings or bracelet. You see, your co-workers know about your faith. Most, or at least some, know about your involvement in a local church. You’ve probably even told a few “I will pray for you” as they faced a crisis or a life situation.So whatever your job is, whatever work it is you do day in and day out – make your life “the pleasing fragrance of Christ” (see 2 Corinthians 2, v.15). Look and seek ways to model your faith in “gentleness and respect” and “always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you to give the reason for your hope” (I Peter 3, v.15). Some days and seasons, this will be among the most challenging things you can do. Again, I know. But it is in these times that people, your co-workers, are looking at you, and to you, to see how you respond.
- Stay Focused in it all. If you ever wonder, “How did I end up here?” or “I wonder if people see that I don’t really have it all together?” or “How can I be a witness here?” – you are in good company.Read the account of Esther and the life-lessons that she gleaned from Mordecai. It is amazing how closely our lessons are to those shared in the Scriptures. You know, they are there for a reason. God knows and He placed them there for a very specific purpose: To encourage us, to teach us, and to build us up!
God has placed you, where you are planted, for a very specific plan that He is executing and working out. Your work is a mission-field and He will bring you opportunities to share His hope, joy, love, and healing right where you are. You are there, like Mordecai, “for such a time as this” (read Esther 4).
- God is present with you. He will never leave you or forsake you – that is His promise! Don’t think this excludes your work, your job, or your workplace. God is there…He is here…He is everywhere.He will use you and your influence to reach those around you, to expand His Kingdom and His Church. Just be willing. Not for your glory or so that anyone can boast, but so that you can be a vessel of His divine and undeniable presence. You can be that vehicle! In the words of my brother, mentor, and pastor, Kerry Willis, “Bloom where you are planted.” Then, begin to plant seeds so that they can bloom.
I really do hope this encourages someone at work, whether tomorrow, next week, or next month. I have spent years in places and positions where I have wondered myself. Some that were not at all, on the surface, seemingly interested in belief, or hope, or the Lord Jesus. But you know what? In deep ways that only God could see and sift through, they were. And God was working, right there, even if I couldn’t see it or understand it.
Don’t give up on Hope, because Hope has a Name: Jesus Christ. And He will shine through you anywhere, if you will just let Him.