In these sleepy days after Thanksgiving, leading up to Christmas and the New Year, everyone seems to take a more relaxed approach to work. In fact, the Monday after Thanksgiving is known as the day when office internet usage is predominantly for online shopping. With the dread of work that lingers over many like Damoscles’ sword, I thought some words from George Müeller on work would be appropriate for today.
Why do I carry on this business, or why am I engaged in this trade or profession?â€ In most instances, so far as my experience goes, which I have gathered in my service among the saints during the last fifty-one years and a half, I believe the answer would be: â€œI am engaged in my earthly calling, that I may earn the means of obtaining the necessaries of life for myself and family.â€ Here is the chief error from which almost all the rest of the errors, which are entertained by children of God, relative to their calling, spring. It is no right and Scriptural motive, to be engaged in a trade, or business, or profession, merely in order to earn the means for the obtaining of the necessaries of life for ourselves and family; but we should work, because it is the Lordâ€™s will concerning us. This is plain from the following passages; 1 Thess. 4:11-12; 2 Thess. 3:10-12; Eph. 4:28.
It is quite true that, in general, the Lord provides the necessaries of life by means of our ordinary calling; but that that is not THE REASON why we should work, is plain enough from the consideration, that if our possessing the necessaries of life depended upon our ability of working, we could never have freedom from anxiety, for we should always have to say to ourselves, and what shall I do when I am too old to work? or when by reason of sickness I am unable to earn my bread? But if on the other hand, we are engaged in our earthly calling, because it is the will of the Lord concerning us that we should work, and that thus laboring we may provide for our families and also be able to support the weak, the sick, the aged, and the needy, then we have good and scriptural reason to say to ourselves: should it please the Lord to lay me on a bed of sickness, or keep me otherwise by reason of infirmity or old age, or want of employment, from earning my bread by means of the labor of my hands, or my business, or my profession, He will yet provide for me.
This is one of the great secrets in connection with successful service for the Lord; to work as if everything depended upon our diligence, and yet not to rest in the least upon our exertions, but upon the blessing of the Lord.
— George Müeller, 1805-1898.