Posted by: Brian Musser | May 21, 2014

Without Work

Work-Ship – Week Six:  The Limits of Work – Day Forty-Two:  Without Work

But sometimes evil has so affected our lives that work is no longer possible.  Sometimes due to economic conditions work is not available.  Sometimes due to health, illness or injury work is not possible.  What happens if I can’t work?  Does that make me less like God?  Does that make me less than fully human?  How do I deal with the feelings of inadequacy?  As we look at John 9:1 -12 let’s concentrate on verse 3.

John 9:3 (HCSB)

As He was passing by, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples questioned Him: ” Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”   “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” Jesus answered. “[This came about] so that God’s works might be displayed in him.”

 First and foremost, there are times when our inability to work is not directly connected to any fault or sin of our own.  We are unable to work solely because the circumstances were engineered (and if are completely honest the circumstances were engineered by God) so as to prevent our working.  Even if it is a direct result of an action we made there is still the thought of God allowing us to face the consequences in a way as to prevent our working.  So it can be rendered true that although God has created humanity to work, He has engineered circumstances so that at this moment, in this time, you are unable to work.  God must be okay with that so therefore you should be as well.  I know that knowing something is God’s will and feeling good about it as being God’s will are two different things but we can at least be working toward that point.

Second if we look at 2 Corinthians 12: 7 -10 (especially verse 9)

2 Corinthians 12:9 (HCSB)

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.

 We see a God that can do special things through a person’s weaknesses, imperfection, vulnerabilities.  Look for opportunities to experience God through you inability to work that you never could when you were employed.  I do not want to be flippant here.  I do not want to easily glaze over this point.  I do not want to be the pop Christian Psycho-babbler saying, “buck-up Beaver Golly-gee things will get better if you just look at the bright side.”  That’s not what I’m saying.  I’m saying that in every single one of our deepest hurts, every single one of our pains, when we are so vulnerable that we don’t know where our next meal is coming from, when God has placed us in a situation that we are unable to provide for ourselves, he is there too.  He is with us.  He knows our suffering and in some way understands our pain.  He has decided to place you in this situation and he has your best interest in mind, maybe not you momentary comfort but your eternal peace.  God is not shocked by your circumstances.  You are not outside of his reach.

However; this should not be an excuse not to work if we are able.  Maybe the job you have trained for is out of your reach but is there something else you could be doing.  Maybe you will have to use your skills in a different way.  Maybe you should be diligently working at your education.  If an injury is your issue and you are disabled then treat your rehabilitation as your work.  If rehabilitation is not possible then find a way to contribute despite your circumstances.  If none of these are options then there are certain people who use their time to develop their relationship with God.  There are others who lift workers up in prayer.  If your physical body is limited look toward how you can use your spiritual energy for God’s glory.

Discussion Questions:

Has the inability to work ever brought you to a point of desperation? 

Have you ever known someone in a situation like that? 

How would not working affect you spiritually?


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