Work Defined

By , July 22, 2012

“The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands.
Deuteronomy 2:7 (NIV)

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When I was a student in physics many years ago I was taught a definition of work that has never left me. When I first heard this definition I laughed myself silly. Let me explain.

Most of us have had the experience of trying to do something only to fail. Perhaps we tried to push our car out of a snow bank but even after an hour of effort and struggling we did not move it one centimeter. We huffed and puffed and perspired greatly but the car stayed still. We would certainly say that we had worked very hard.

When we put the definition of work alongside our unsuccessful efforts to move the car out of the snow bank the definition of work would say that we had not worked at all. According to physics, Work is force through a distance. Therefore, because the car did not move any distance work was not done.

This is very upsetting to the tired, red faced, perspiring person who tried to move the car. However it is the truth according to science.

Some fine Christians who are put aside from the hustle and bustle of life by some debilitating illness or accident may conclude that because they are not out and about that they are unproductive in the work of God.

This conclusion would seem accurate by the physics definition of work. However, in the mind of the Lord much eternal work can be done without involving motion. Devout Christians who are required to be still may devote much time to effective prayer (James 5:16). Much work can be accomplished by the holy prayers of a saint of God.

Then, much good work is being done by inactive Christians who write letters of encouragement to others such as missionaries. Some sick people even SKYPE Christian workers around the world just to say, “Hello.” Think of how much money they saved on airfare!

Then there is the work of the telephone. I know of a godly Christian man who spent hundreds of dollars a month on long distance phone calls to others who were confined to beds of sickness.

As I type this devotional I am sitting in a bed receiving treatment on my legs. This hour long procedure, done twice a day, seven days a week, is not stopping me from working. Confinement to a bed of sickness should only redirect our work for the Lord.

Perhaps you are in bed 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  Do not allow that sad reality to stop you from very useful work for the Lord. You should redirect your energy to vital activities that do not require force through a distance. You may do much good while inactive. Determine today that you will do God’s work in spite of limitations.

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