by the sweat of my thorn scratched brow

Russell Minick 0 Comments

Creation: God is good, humanity is good, and work is good (ruling over a good creation). Then came the fall. That is what I am noticing today, not just because it is Tuesday in my 5 day devotional reflections scheme. It really is fallen Tuesday.

Genesis 3: 17-19

He told the Man:

“Because you listened to your wife

and ate from the tree

That I commanded you not to eat from,

‘Don’t eat from this tree,’

The very ground is cursed because of you;

getting food from the ground

Will be as painful as having babies is for your wife;

you’ll be working in pain all your life long.

The ground will sprout thorns and weeds,

you’ll get your food the hard way,

Planting and tilling and harvesting,

sweating in the fields from dawn to dusk,

Until you return to that ground yourself,

dead and buried;

you started out as dirt, you’ll end up dirt.”

Hmm. Guess that explains a good bit about what is not good in this life. I keep feeling like work should be invigorating and fun and fulfilling, and at times it is. BUT. Man, there are some long stretches of stress and chaos, and if not thorns, at least paper cuts (or carpal tunnel syndrome).

What do we do with the Biblical teaching on a fallen world? We realize that ‘positive mental attitude’ is not enough. Work is hard because things don’t work the way they should. People are unstable, systems are unstable, things are unstable.

Though we must work, and work hard, and work hard at being cheerful at working hard… it isn’t going to work. Effort is necessary to have a productive life, but we need more than that. We need a systemic overhaul. The whole cosmos needs a deep and thorough correction. Wrong must be removed and right must be reestablished thoroughly and reliably. Creator, image bearers, creation (in that order).

Today, when I feel overwhelmed by things not going right, I am to remember the big picture reason: creation vs. Creator, the only wise choice is Creator. Our ancestors chose poorly, and too often I do as well.

More faith and obedience in my Creator is my wisest choice this fine and terrible Tuesday.

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