Handy Work

“…you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands”- Micah 5: 13

Life isn’t what I thought it’d be at this stage.  I figured I’d either be globe trotting or have a house.  I didn’t think I’d still be stuck in NJ having to pay rent with two incomes.  I hate that I resent a blue collar job.  I want to be a stay at home mom.  I can’t yet.

Then again what I consider what is fair and just for my life isn’t what God feels is fair and just.

I went into Chemistry because my father told me that business or science was the only way I could pay my bills.  I have been able to do so and support a husband and our what will be our future baby.  I have found security in my job, in being able to financially assist myself and others.  That’s exactly the problem though, isn’t it?

Without even knowing it my work and sequentially my income has ignited my pride.  I always criticize my mother’s obsession with work.  Last night at Bible study we discussed how God sometimes reveals the unchecked desires in others, which we more often than not will criticize routinely, so that we will come to face our sin.

Micah 5 speaks about the redemption of God’s people through Christ, but not without pruning.  He will destroy witchcraft so that people can no longer cast spells, he will destroy carved images, he will uproot the Asherah poles.  He breaks strongholds.

Somewhere along the way, work became an idol.  I always thought I prioritized my life such that work wasn’t an idol.  I would speak out about the shattered lives of “workaholics”.  I never realized I was one.  I like to sip wine, read literature, and vacation.  I didn’t think work was an idol for me.  However the fear of having less money, to not afford the creature comforts I’ve grown accustomed to, has morphed work into a stronger idol than I ever realized.

The comfort in something other than God has made a vile critic.  What I saw in my mother and in American society has infected me and I have, for so long, been denying it.  I blame Frank for not finding another job in a more cost-effective area.  I am jealous that he enjoys what he does and hasn’t felt the need to “gain” more.  He’s content.  I want that.

Yet I can’t be content when I haven’t repented.  This verse cut me today because I realized that I lacked justice and judged others because they struggle with something I didn’t want to face in myself.

God is showing me that perhaps I’m working in a job I don’t feel cut out for, that I’m not entirely satisfied in because maybe, just maybe I’ll stop bowing to the fruit of my labor and start seeking to bring fruit from the seeds he’s planted in and through me, here and now—not in some other place and in who I want to be.  He has work that needs to be done here and it is when we start doing his work, not ours, that we learn to kneel to a call of service rather than begrudgingly scale a frail corporate ladder, trying, in vain, to get wealth.

Where our treasure is there our heart will be.  My treasure, has for too long, been the fruit of my labor, not his word or his call.  To that I am grieved.

Maybe now, in admitting and submitting this stronghold, I will be able to exercise God’s peaceful justice to others because I’ll stop trying to combat my sin in them.  It’s time I start letting God prune me rather than me refine others.  It’s time to let go of the expectations of others.  It’s time to confess that I am, regrettably, a product of a time/work driven American society.

It’s time to be just unto others by being satisfied with God’s just will in my life and living fully for him, not the work of my hands…

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