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Thoughts from Life

‘By the Sweat of Your Face’

I got to spend a couple hours this afternoon working outside at our house.  I say ‘got to’ because I really do enjoy it.  I’ve got a lot of ideas of things I’d like to do that have translated themselves into about a dozen projects and I enjoy it when I’m able to free up a little time to work on those.  However, today was a maintenance day…weeding and mowing were on the docket and I somewhat reluctantly jumped to it.

Today was a perfect Simi Valley day – sunny, temp in the high 70s and the slightest of breezes cruising down our street.  I set out to cut the grass and then started pulling some weeds.  I’ve done a lot of work to pull out some plants from our yard in the last few months and some of the remaining roots have sprouted again.  It took me about an hour and one severely bent shovel to remove them all but it took far less time to have beads of sweat running down my nose and onto the ground.

It made me think of Genesis 3:17-19:

“And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”

God condemned Adam and all men to increased labor and effort as part of our work here on earth.  Work, itself, isn’t bad.  Genesis 2 is filled with the account of Adam doing work before the Fall and before sin and its consequences had taken affect.  God didn’t punish Adam with work, but He did increase the difficulty of that work.  God has always intended that man would work with his hands and diligently labor to fulfill God’s purposes – this is part of what it means to be a man.

Today was a reminder of this truth.  I enjoyed the work but I longed for the day when I could spend time working on the projects I desired.  Instead I spent the day pulling thorns and thistles out of the ground while wiping drops of sweat out of my eyes.  I’m patiently looking forward to the earth being freed from its bondage to corruption and the redemption we will fully share!

Romans 8:18-25 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

About Marshall Walter

Marshall Walter is the College Pastor at Grace Brethren Church in Simi Valley. Married to Beka, the two of them enjoying living life and sharing in ministry together.


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