Our lives flourish when in faith we believe that the place where we are working today is the place where God has planted us. Every place where people work is a part of God’s creation.
Our lives flourish because God showers us with abundant blessings, showers us with his mercy, showers us with his grace, and showers us with his unfailing love where we work today.
Our lives flourish when, like trees, God prunes us where we are working today. God prunes us through difficult people, through the challenges of work, through tasks we don’t like doing, through the people we don’t like working with, through computers that drive us crazy, through natural disasters and all the other things that frustrate us or bring physical or emotional pain.
We grow like the cedars of Lebanon, we flourish like palm trees, when we embrace the place where God has planted us.
We grow like the cedars of Lebanon, we flourish like palm trees, when we love our colleagues and customers, people God has surrounded us (yes, this means loving the difficult people too).
We grow like the cedars of Lebanon, we flourish like palm trees, when we accept with grace and patience God’s pruning through the challenges of our workplace.
It takes time for a tree to grow, so also it takes time for us to bear fruit in the place where we work. So be patient. God has not forsaken you or forgotten you. While you are waiting, don’t succumb to the temptation to waste your time, energy or resources on building idols to deliver you. Don’t succumb to the temptation to boast of your accomplishments, or to resort to harmful words or deceit, or to grow strong by destroying others. For God promises that the day will come when he will bring down to everlasting ruin, and uproot from the land all who choose to live that way. (Ps 52:5).
When we embrace our place of work, love the people we work with, and accept with grace the challenges of our workplace then we become like trees planted by the streams of water, and we will yield fruit in season, and our leaves will not wither – whatever we do will prosper in God’ Kingdom (Ps 1:3).
When we choose to trust in God’s unfailing love in our workplace, when we choose to hope in God’s holy name in our workplace, when we choose to praise God for what he has done for us then we will become a tree offering shelter to those we work with so that they can experience faith, hope, joy, peace and answered prayers. When we choose to live this way, we become a tree of life offering wisdom to our colleagues and employer.
Will you trust in God? Will you praise God for planting you where you are, for his showers of blessing, and for his pruning – or will you try to anesthetize the pain of your workplace, or will you run away? When you run God not only will you miss out on God’s pruning, you will also miss out on God’s showers of blessing.
Will you make God your stronghold, or will you boast that all your success at work is of your own doing? Will you trust in God, or will you trust in your own riches? Will God hear your songs of praises, or will God hear harmful words and deceit from your lips?
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.(John 15:1-8)
Why do you boast of evil, you mighty hero?
Why do you boast all day long,
you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God?
You who practice deceit,
your tongue plots destruction;
it is like a sharpened razor.
You love evil rather than good,
falsehood rather than speaking the truth.
You love every harmful word,
you deceitful tongue!
Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin:
He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living.
The righteous will see and fear;
they will laugh at you, saying,
“Here now is the man
who did not make God his stronghold
but trusted in his great wealth
and grew strong by destroying others!”
But I am like an olive tree
flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love
for ever and ever.
For what you have done I will always praise you
in the presence of your faithful people.
And I will hope in your name,
for your name is good.