The Grace of Hard Labor

“Work is not a result of the fall of Adam, but work goes the difficult way it does because of the fall.  Prior to the advent of sin in the world, Adam was given the task of tending the garden and naming the animals.  We were created for work.  But when sin entered, God in His wisdom saw that thorns and thistles were now needed (Genesis 3:17-19).  In His grace, God cursed the ground.  Just as the law is a school-master to bring us to Christ, so is the sweat of the brow.  Sinners don’t do well living on the Big Rock Candy Mountain.”

–Douglas Wilson, “Laziness and Hard Labor,” Future Men

I have never thought of  the difficulty of work as evidence of God’s grace before!   In fact, I haven’t given any theological thoughts to weeding my garden, vacuuming the rug for the 6th time, or trying to fix something broken — past being a little annoyed with Adam and Eve for making things so onerous in the first place.

But seriously, is it not an inescapable fact that “sinners don’t do well living on Big Rock Candy Mountain”?  How many of us have watched children raised in wealthy families — having everything handed to them on a silver platter — grow up to be selfish little boogers?  How many of us know adults who have experienced “the easy life” only to become miserable and dissatisfied?

God in His GRACE designed us to need work to be strenuous!  Complications of work, frustrations of things not going as they should, having to constantly re-do that which we have already done — these are all things that should point us to our need for God!

Someday, when sin is obliterated, I suppose we won’t have such a need for thorns and thistles.  Won’t that be a glorious day?

With this new revelation in mind, I’m off to clean my kitchen.  Again.


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