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Happy work, good plan

For you, O Lord, have made me happy by your work.
Psalm 92:4 

One of the first ways humankind knew God was through his work. They saw what he had made: mountains, streams, fields, trees, birds, fish, animals and more. Perhaps they marvelled at how it all worked together in an ecological whole. As they grew in understanding of nature, they grew in appreciation for Creator-God. God’s work made them happy.

I will sing for joy because of what you have done

Then, as we understand from the opening chapters of God’s book, Adam and Eve learned to work as well. They were delegated responsibilities, and grew in their service and governance capabilities. Perhaps they learned the boundaries of their abilities as God’s gardeners. Maybe they experimented with what it meant to take wild nature and bring out its productive capabilities. It could be that they tried one technique, and Father suggested another, so the next day they tried that. As they observed seeding and harvesting, perhaps they asked Father God as they walked in the cool of the evening together about why he had created things to operate in seasons, why there were cycles, and what sowing and reaping really meant.

Overall, however, the handiwork of God must have simply blown them away. (Remember, there was no cynicism, no second-guessing, no criticizing or blaming God at this stage, just raw, unabashed, untainted appreciation for the gift of life and all the Godhead had strung together in the universe.)

 5a How great are your works, O Lord! 

 Then they would have realized, “Wait, this isn’t all just for us. God has a plan for all he created, and for us as a family.” They must have moved beyond the “this is cool” phase to the “why we have been blessed” phase. Appreciation for the works of God took them into the plans of God, or the mind and heart of God.

5b Your plans are very intricate.

Now, there is an understatement! But therein also lies a challenge for many people: they want to know the plans of God but do not yet understand the work of God. God’s plans are tied to his work. His plans for you and me are tied to our work. (If we are not working for God, who are we working for?) Cultivating an understanding of God’s work is essential to, if not a prerequisite for, knowing his plans. To say, “Once I know God’s plans, then I will do his work is disingenuous.” We must marvel at his work before we can know his plans.

 For you, O Lord, have made me happy by your work.

Reflections

  • If you had been in the garden with Adam and Eve, what aspects of God’s work would have made you happy?

  • How about today: what is it about his work that excites you today?

  • Have you relegated this to his “spiritual” work? How can you broaden your definition of his work?
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