You ARE Essential
Last year we all learned a few new words and phrases as well as new applications for familiar ones. Words like Covid, social distancing, pivot, quarantine and essential. While Covid is certainly the newbie to class, the others, although familiar, having taken on new meanings. Take for example the word “pivot”. Once upon a time, it described a redirection of a marching band or military unit. Today, however, it is used to describe the way schools, restaurants and businesses have creatively found a way to stay open during the global pandemic that we are enduring.
Another word that has taken on new significance in our lives is the word “essential”. It’s word that means absolutely necessary or extremely important. It’s a word that brings to mind things like food, water, air and touch. However, in 2020, this term has been used to describe businesses, vocations and even individuals. We have learned that medical professionals are essentials as well as long distance truck drivers. Yet, many others found themselves without work and income because someone decided that their function was not essential.
Have you ever been there? Have you ever been told that your company, role, function, or skills were no longer essential? Hearing those words produces feelings of anger, rejection and sadness (to name a few). Even if you haven’t experienced this personally, my guess is that you know someone who has. At the very least, almost everyone has experienced feeling disposable or unvalued.
The response to these kinds of situations can cause us to hop on a thought train that may derail our confidence at best or lead our lives into a ditch at worst. Thoughts like “I’m not good enough”, or “No one values me”, or “I’ll never make the same money again” can become a tornado in our minds. That is why while we may not be able to change our circumstances, we can change the way we think about them.
That is the beauty of scripture. It offers us another way, dare I say a better way, to think about these kinds of situations. If you or someone you know has been labeled as “not essential”, I want to share encouragement with you today from two passages of scripture. The first is found in Ephesians 2:10 and it states, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” The beauty of this passage is that it communicates the relationship with God and His creation. Between God and you. Between God and me. It reminds us that knows us because He created us and because we are His work of art, He has good plans for us.
Now does that mean that bad things won’t happen? Things like being told you are no longer essential. Unfortunately, no. From time to time, we may still be told that our work is no longer of value. This is why we must remember that He has good plans for our lives when we commit our lives to Him. In fact, in the book of Colossians 3:23-24, we find this direction. “23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
This passage is all about our motivation. It reminds us that whether we are a plumber, hairstylist, accountant, or pastor, our motivation for work should be to serve the Lord. It encourages us to focus on the work of our heart not just the work of our hands. You see, when we do the work that, the Lord has given us to do and we do it for His pleasure, then it becomes an assignment that honors Him and blesses us in the process. Our paycheck, benefits, and satisfaction become our earthly reward even as we are earning a heavenly one. It also earns us the title of “Essential”. In God’s Kingdom, an essential worker is someone that does the will of God for His glory.
Friends, be encouraged today that if you know and love God, then your work is an assignment. In the days to come, should you be told that you are no longer essential, celebrate the good that you accomplished, mourn the passing of the assignment and then, get about the next mission because good things are waiting for you.
Making it Real,