The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
At the outset of the Bible God gives man work.
This means work is inherently good, not bad. Work is not the result of sin. It is not a consequence of the Fall. It is not a necessary evil. Work was created before the Fall. In fact, God himself works. When the Bible opens, God is at work. Work in itself is completely good.
Moreover, we are designed for work. We are imagebearers of the God who works. Work is part of our design, part of our humanness, part of the image of God in us. We need work. We are not fully alive without work.
This is not to say that we need a job. We do not need a paying job to be fully alive, but we do need work, whether this is house work, school work, volunteer work or job work. We are designed for work.
Our work matters to God. Just as God cared about Adam’s work, he cares about our work. He wants this work to be fulfilling, not frustrating.
How does this happen? How does our work become a source of fulfillment? It happens when we turn our work into worship. If we do our work for God, to please him and to honor him, then that work becomes an act of worship. It is when we work for God that we find our deliverance from drudgery.
The classic tale is the medieval construction supervisor who asked three of his workers what they were doing. The first worker replied, “I am laying bricks.” He goes a little farther along and asked the second worker, who replied, “I am building a wall.” He goes still farther along and he asked the third worker, who replied, “I am building a great cathedral for the glory of God.” The third worker got it. He found deliverance from drudgery because his work had become worship.
Work for the Lord.