Thankful For Double Work Shifts

10/19/2007

I recently watched a inspiring/sad documentary called "God Grew Tired Of Us" (watch the trailer here), which follows the lives of several young men from Sudan. These men had been separated from their families by violence, and some of the boys had even seen their families executed before their very eyes. They had no hope of returning to Sudan, and very little hope of seeing their surviving family members again. But for a few, there was hope. A small handful of the boys were given the opportunity to move to the United States where they would work to establish a new life for themselves. In the United States they would get jobs, earn money, and perhaps even go to school.

At one point in the movie a young man named Jon Bul Dau finds out that some members of his family, including his mother, are still alive, living in another African country. Jon was planning on attending a local community college, but when he heard of his surviving family, he put his education to the side and threw himself into work, striving to save up enough money to bring his family to America. He worked two brutal jobs, spending a full, backbreaking day in a factory and then spending his evenings cooking hamburgers in a McDonald's. Yet what was Jon's response when asked about working double shifts every day? "It is wonderful, it is wonderful" he said. "It is generating income."

My heart was challenged by Jon's gratefulness. Colossians 2:7 commands us to be "...abounding in thanksgiving." Jon Bul Dau was clearly abounding in thanksgiving, even in the midst of miserable working conditions. He was working 16 hours a day at two mind-numbing, low-paying jobs, yet he was deeply grateful. Why? He realized what a blessing it was to make money. And the most challenging thing is, I'm not even sure if Jon Bul Dau is a Christian.

I work a mere eight hours a day and find myself complaining. I'm blessed with enough money to buy food and clothes, and to support my family, but I don't give thanks to God. I live a relatively pain-free life in the richest country on earth, yet my heart is quick to complain. Oh how I want to change in this area. I want to be abounding in thanksgiving for my job. When I go to work, I want my heart to overflow with joy, because I can provide for my family. There are billions of people around the world who would love to have my job, because it would allow them to put food in the bellies of their children. I want to thank God for providing for me.

When was the last time you thanked God for your job? When was the last time you rejoiced on your way to work? If you're a stay-at-home mom, when was the last time you rejoiced in your husband's job? We serve an incredibly generous God. Let's be abounding in thankfulness towards Him.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 8:00 AM  

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