Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. – Isaiah 55:1-2
Labor Day weekend is upon us. It gives us a chance to pause and reflect on the labors of this past year. How have they gone? Have they been worth it? Have our “labors” been consistently fulfilling, meaningful, and valuable? Or have they been frustrating, challenging, and burdensome? Or perhaps we think back over the labors of our lifetime. Have they been worth it? Did they satisfy?
I mean, we work like crazy to get that promotion, and then find out that we have to work more hours for less money. Or we think we’ll get a promotion, and someone else (who in our opinion is less qualified) gets it instead. Or we worked hard to get that interview, thought it went well, but the “you’re hired” call never comes. Was it worth it? Did it satisfy?
We work hard in order to pay off our debts, and then the car breaks down and we’re back onto the credit card. Or we strive to get our dream house, and then the bills for keeping it and maintaining it nearly overwhelm us. Or we worked hard to retire early, and then our health takes a dive. Was it worth it? Did it satisfy?
Clearly God is right to ask, “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?”
But there is a “work” which satisfies. It’s the “work” of being into the Word, the “work” of hearing that Jesus did the work which we needed him to do. It’s the “work” of focusing our attention on the truths and meaning of God’s Word. Those things will satisfy! Those things will be “worth it!”
Why so? Because as we focus on the Word of God, we’re reminded that God loves us, that Jesus won forgiveness for us, that eternal life is ours. As we focus on the Word, we’re reminded that God is guiding our lives for our good, always, even when life may seem frustrating and unsatisfying. As we focus on the Word, we’re empowered and equipped to serve our God and to share his Word. And as that happens, our “thirst” for a meaningful life is quenched. And, even our earthly labors become more meaningful, for we’re reminded that we’re working not for ourselves, but serving our God and other people.
A blessed Labor Day weekend to you!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you labored for me, that I might have eternal rest with you. Thank you for blessing me with earthly work to do, that I might serve you by serving others. Focus me on eternal “work,” on the work which you did for me, that I might have eternal rest with you. In your name I pray. Amen.