Saturday, September 5, 2020

Labor Day Pains


Photo by Trollbackco 2014
To me, Labor Day always brings forth mixed emotions, as the joy of a three-day holiday may be tempered with discomfort, or even pain, over our labor. For young women who have just given birth or are anxiously awaiting delivery,  I’m sure Labor Day has a special significance for them this year!

Wishing all my readers a blessed Labor Day weekend, for those in the US, and a new start to the work and school year around the globe. May you enjoy this repost from the archives!

For people who have lost their job, there may be no Labor Day celebration, but instead the heartache of going without, and having faith stretched from one meal or rent payment to the next. For those blessed to be employed, there may be the aggravation of unappreciative employers or disgruntled customers, or the weariness of overwork on too little sleep.

Some may pour their whole being into their career, at the expense of family, social life, or even time for worshipping and serving God, only to feel the pain of being passed over for promotion by the rising star who captured the boss’ attention. Those who play by the rules, support the team, and pay their dues may be sorely disappointed when those in the favored clique, or those who outmaneuver their competition, advance unfairly, despite their lack of experience. Life in the working world is full of trouble and pain, and it seldom seems fair.

Thankfully, God isn’t fair either, because His grace gives believers what we don’t deserve (Ephesians 2:8-9), and His mercy keeps Him from giving us eternal punishment in hell, which our sins do deserve (Romans 6:23). No matter what our earthly situation, believers in Christ can find joy (Psalm 21:1;32:11; Isaiah 29:19; 61:10; Matthew 25:21; Romans 5:11; etc.) and peace (Philippians 4:7) in knowing that He is working all circumstances together for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28).

We can endure the “labor pains” because He has appointed us to a specific occupation, to serve Him with the unique gifts, talents, and opportunities He has given us (1 Corinthians 12:4-6;28; Ephesians 4:11), and to glorify Him in all we do (1 Corinthians 10:31).. As the bumper sticker says, “Our Boss is a Jewish Carpenter” Who has empathy for our struggles (Hebrews 4:15) and supports us through trials and hardships (Philippians 4:13).

His grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). He sees, honors and remembers work done for Him and will reward our labor, if not in this world, then in the next, where we can enjoy the rewards forever (1 Corinthians 3:9-14).

Best of all, He knows our sinful, wicked hearts (Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 17:9-10), but He loves us anyway (Romans 5:8). We don’t have to prove our worth, for we have none on our own merits (Isaiah 64:6; John 15:5). He is not interested in our qualifications, but in our justification by His shed blood (Romans 4:25; 5:16-18). Once we commit our lives to Him, we are guaranteed payment of the richest treasure imaginable – life in His presence throughout eternity (John 3:16), no matter for how long or short a time we have been saved (Matthew 20:1-16).

So why is this life often full of pangs of disappointment, physical disability and sickness, and even Godly sorrow? (2 Corinthians 7:10) I believe it is because we long for His return and the blessed hope (Titus 2:13), meaning eager anticipation, of the Rapture, when He will wipe every tear from our eye (Revelation 21:4). Then we shall enjoy eternity with Him in glorified bodies that will never experience pain, sickness or aging (1 Corinthians 15:40-50).

In the meantime, His whole creation is going through labor pains (Romans 8:21-22), anxiously awaiting the day when all will be made new by His refining fire (2 Peter 3:10-12). We groan in our aging bodies (Romans 8:23), yet the quickening pace and intensity of these pangs brings us inevitably closer to that day when we can truly experience being a completely new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15).

Once we place our faith in His death, burial and resurrection as the only way to Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; John 14:6), we are born again (John 3:3-8). But on that day when all His children shall be changed and meet Him in the air, we shall live forever and be as He is (1 Corinthians 15:51-54). In the meantime, anticipation of this blessed event, and knowing that our labor for Him is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:51-58) helps us endure and even embrace these Labor Day pains!  

© 2013 Laurie Collett



Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
As a British citizen, I have never properly understood what Labor Day is all about, nor its history since it seems to be a uniquely American holiday.
During my working days before retirement, I have always looked forward to the Bank Holiday, as we call it over here, as they were a time of respite from the daily and weekly grind.
Your comment on favouritism at work is quite remarkable, as I'm not sure whether it's that bad over here, as such cases - if it does happen - often make it into the national Press.
No wonder the apostle James was so hard against any form of favouritism in the church (James 2:1-7.) Perhaps those who should know better ought to apply his principles in the workplace.
An excellent post. May God bless you and Richard.

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
your post was beautiful. I love scripture and it was almost like reading the Bible as I could say 'Amen' to all you have written. I am not sure what Labour Day is but I do know that nothing can compare to what God has in store for those who do what they have been called to do as believers in Christ ( the body of Christ on earth) God bless you Laurie.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,

Labor Day was designated to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States. But I doubt many think about that -- it's considered the official end of summer, and a time to party with the last barbecue, pool gathering, beach trip, etc., of the summer. And a time for department store sales!

Very true, that Christians should follow Biblical principles in the workplace, as well as at church and at home. Having two sets of ethics makes a man double-minded. Our former church had a large sign as you exit the driveway: "Live Like a Christian Today."

Thanks as always for your encouraging comment. God bless you and Alex,

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
Thank you so much! I am blessed to hear that you enjoyed this post. Please see my response to Frank for the meaning of Labor Day.

Amen -- nothing on earth can compare to the heavenly rewards God has promised to those who serve Him. God bless you,


Donald Fishgrab said...

Great post, Laurie.

Elon Musk recently said something to effect that "if noe makes stuff, then there's no stuff." If it wasn't for common everyday people who produce the things we use everyday, the rich, the politicians, and the celebrities would starve because there would be no food or things for them to buy. In our present society, many politicians seem to have forgotten that very important point, referring to the common people as deplorables or dregs of society.

Thankfully, God recognizes even the least contribution, promising to reward for something as small as a cup of water.

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Donald! Praise the Lord that He appoints each of us work to do, and that He will reward us according to the work we did for Him, if we had the right motive. All His children are members of His body, and we each have an important function. Thanks for sharing your insights and God bless,