“Daddy, why is work hard?”
Quite surprisingly I was spared by the Lord from only using the moment to challenge her about complaining or urging her to further faithfulness in her chores. (Nothing wrong in doing that! But too often my parenting centers on correction and not instruction.) Instead, a more inspiring answer came to mind. I explained to her that work is hard, because we are not in heaven yet. Now, if only I can learn the truth of that answer in my own life!
Too often I think of “heaven” as the absence of work and the presence of something I like to think of as rest…but what is probably better described as laziness. Now, I fully believe that God gives us regular moments of the absence of work. A good portion of every 24 hours is spent doing nothing but acknowledging our physical limitations in sleep! However, I also know that God made me for work, for service, for labor. In heaven, I will have work to do. But the curse of work, given because of sin, will no longer be present. The ground will no longer bring forth thorns. I will no longer spend long hours with little apparent usefulness. And in work I will experience the sustaining grace and power of the Lord Jesus and the complete absence of temptations or sinful cravings, so that my work will be a joy. I don’t doubt that I will still exert effort, and I will still feel my ongoing need for God to sustain my body, glorified though it will be. But work will no longer be “hard” in the fallen-world, sinful-flesh-resistant, thorn-producing way that it is hard now. Instead we will delight that his yoke is easy and his burden is light, and we will find rest for our souls.