The creation narrative tells us, “The Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he placed the man he had formed” (Gen. 2:8). God placed man in His garden and told the man to “work it and watch over it” (Gen 2:15). From the beginning of our existence with God, we are told to work. So, work itself is not to be thought of as a curse. We work for the Lord and cultivate His land. It is interesting that man was placed in the garden and told to cultivate. If the garden is said to be “good,” what was man to cultivate? One can argue that man was to cultivate outside the garden to extend the garden to the whole earth. In that sense, man’s work was to advance God’s Kingdom.
As we all know, man decided that his way was better and was then cast out of the garden. On the way out, God cursed the ground, making work hard. But God never said not to work or not cultivate the ground. So, as I reflect on that truth, I see that while my job is much more challenging because of the fall, it is still my duty as a Christian to cultivate in my workplace and spread the gospel.
Faith in the Workplace
I work with four other men. They have all expressed to me how they do not attend church and see Christianity as more of a cultural badge rather than a worldview. This has opened the door for gospel conversations. But these conversations would amount to nothing if I did not work with them in the heat and cold and embrace the curse of work becoming hard. They tend to see work as a curse rather than a blessing. But I need to model for them that God has given us work as a blessing and given us work to be in communion with Him. God worked for six days to make everything. He made us in His image; He blessed us with the ability to work just as He does. So perhaps God has me here to model a Christian view of work — and to point them to the hope of the gospel.
Every day I have the privilege to see God’s glory from creation (Psalm 19:1). When all four of us are out there working, it is my duty, as a Christian, to communicate the gospel to these men. While I know this is not my ideal job, I remember God’s word telling me, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15).
What This Means for Us
Do everything for God’s Glory. As I reflect on what I do for work, it is not where I want to be; I’m not using my education or my best skills. But I am blessed that during this time, the Lord has given me such skills in horticulture to help others. I also know that I should glorify Him in my work because the Lord has given me these skills (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Remember the Great Commission. My mission field is different from others. Although I would love to be serving overseas, planting churches, and using my skills to spread the gospel in a land that does not have many Christians, God has me here, and this is my mission field. These men need the gospel too, and the visitors that come also need to hear the glorious news that the Son of God became man, humbled Himself to the point of death, even death on a cross. They need to know he died, was buried, and raised from the dead on the third day. They must hear the pressing news that he ascended to the Father and is coming back — all because He loves His creation. Because of this radical Love, I too should love His creation and work to glorify Him.