“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.” Genesis 3:17b
Read: Genesis 3:17
Listen: Genesis 3
The first reality of work in a broken world is that it is painful. God tells Adam that the ground is cursed and it will take painful work to produce food. Work wasn’t new to Adam—he had named the animals, and likely tended the garden. What’s new is the ground won’t produce like it was meant to. Work would hurt, be painful and exhausting. Life was about to get much more difficult.
Pain might have been new to Adam, but it’s something we have come to expect. Even in jobs or tasks we love, there will always be painful days where we go home physically or emotionally exhausted. The repetitive motion of working in a factory causes the same sore muscles day after day. People in the service industry frequently deal with difficult customers, frustrated clients or mean co-workers. Many of us experience full schedules where there always seems to be more work than there is time to get it done.
It should not surprise us that creating order out of chaos is painful and exhausting. Not only do we experience this regularly, but the opening chapters of the Bible share this reality. Part of working in a broken world is recognizing that all work will have painful elements—but instead of being opportunities to complain, make them opportunities for us to rely more on God.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Spend a few minutes thinking about the painful elements of your paid and unpaid roles. Pray something like this, “Father, I experience pain in the roles you have given me. Especially around these areas _________. I know that you created work to be good, and you want me to enjoy what I do. Please give me grace, patience, and strength to be faithful in my work despite the painful elements. Amen.”
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.