November 30, 2017
Trusting God on the Job
Life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about God’s mighty kindness and love (Acts 20:24, LB).
Friend to Friend
God uses our work as one of His tools to mold us into who He wants us to be. When we learn to trust God with our work, we can then view our job as an opportunity to provide the tools we need to accomplish our life mission.
Paul worked as a tentmaker, a church planter, and an author. His purpose and mission never changed, but his work certainly did.
Many of us do not need a different job. We simply need a different attitude and a new point of view about the job we have. Begin by envisioning Jesus standing in the midst of your work place as your real boss. Then look for the life lessons God provides through your work.
God uses my work to teach me responsibility. Meeting deadlines, completing assigned tasks with excellence, showing respect for co-workers (even the abrasive ones) and working without supervision are all valuable life lessons learned on the job.
God uses my work to teach me about relationships. Cooperation, fairness, flexibility, humility and patience are relationship skills of a successful worker. Our workplace is not only one of our God-ordained mission fields; it is a classroom for learning to love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable and, in short, be “God with skin on.” You may very well be the only sermon your co-workers ever hear.
God uses my work to teach me how to serve. The way we serve God is by serving others. God wants us to grow spiritually at work by becoming a servant to those with whom we work. It is easy to serve those who sit beside us on a pew each Sunday, but a real servant serves on the job.
Attitudes never sit still. They constantly move and change. An attitude is a pattern of thinking, a filter through which we view life. We can choose to be honest about our attitude at work and we can choose to change our attitude about work, but most importantly, we can choose to pray for God’s attitude about work.
Many people never experience success in their work because they are in the wrong work to begin with. Not me. As a high school student, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. My mother was a nurse and I wanted to be just like her, so I became a student volunteer at the hospital where my mother worked. When I told her the good news, she thought for a moment and then simply said, "That's great, honey. You'll make a wonderful nurse."
On my first day, I eagerly donned the required red and white striped uniform and reported for duty. The head nurse welcomed me and explained that I would be checking each patient to make sure they had water to drink, magazines to read, and a listening ear. That sounded simple enough. "Oh, and one more thing," she continued. In retrospect, I should have instantly recognized the danger in those words and run for the nearest exit. In my ignorance, I stayed. "Since we are short-handed, I may ask you to do just a few things to help the other nurses on duty," she said. "No problem" I assured her.
At that precise moment, a scream pierced the air! The head nurse calmly looked at me, smiled and said, "Could you check on that, please?" Surely, I had misunderstood her. "Now!" she continued. Taking a deep breath, I headed in the direction of the scream, praying that that it was nothing more than the celebratory cry of someone who had just won a million dollars.
As I neared the room in question, a bedpan flew through the doorway in front of me, landing at my feet. Furthermore, the bedpan was not empty. I decided right then and there that nursing was not for me, turned in my candy cane apron, and raced for the nearest exit. Mama was waiting for me as I stepped off the elevator. She smiled, handed me the cars keys, and simply said "See you at home." Fortunately, I had a wise and wonderful mother who knew me well. From that day on she encouraged me to be the teacher God created me to be.
God has a unique plan for each one of us. Our greatest opportunity for success is to live that plan. I believe God tucks into our very soul a holy discontentment with anything but His life "recipe.” We must learn to trust Him for that plan and settle for nothing less than the work He has for us to do.
Father, I want to follow Your plan for my life. Help me walk in daily obedience so that Your unique and perfect plan for my life will naturally unfold before me. When I am discouraged because of the work I am doing, give me Your peace and the assurance that I am in the right spot doing the right things You created me to do.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
God always reveals His plan to a seeking heart. Are you willing to do whatever God asks you to do?
Ask God for His direction.
Pay attention to the passion of your heart.
Realistically evaluate your abilities and talents.
Consider the advice of those who know you best.
Then step out in faith, trusting God to help you make the right choice about your work.
More from the Girlfriends
Trust can be a scary proposition … unless you are sure of the person you are trusting. Mary’s book, 10-Day Trust Adventure, will help you take that step of faith.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Thursday, 30 November 2017.