Scripture: Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galations 6:2
When I ponder upon the term: Working for free”… I think of my first internship at Howard University, while working on my Masters at John Hopkins Hospital. It was my very first challenging “crisis as a social worker and I was terrified. I had never felt so inadequate. I felt as if I couldn’t be what I needed to be – for my client in the field of social work, but I was excited and thrilled to be working at John Hopkins, and challenged myself anyway, do it… I knew I could … with God’s help.
It was my first job in the field and in a hospital setting; and I was in Baltimore, Maryland. My first counseling job that seemed to be too hard to do without worry.
I was counseling a thirteen year old parent with twins and her parents. I recall her parents being so angry with her, I felt as if they couldn’t see that this was such a humongous turning point in her life, it and the entire situation would either make or break her, and she would from this point on life determine whether she could ask for help freely, from anyone, decide whether she was loved by family or rejected; and determine whether or not she was worthy of being a good mother. I didn’t want them to judge has age as an major inconvenience, cause I knew God could use this too, for His Glory.
I wanted there, in that moment to reach out to her desperately and help her soul. ( Her mind, will and emotions.) I could only imagine how bleak her future may have seemed, based on her outlook a the age of 13. I guess that’s essentially when I became a “true burden-bearer” at work. I cared so much about her and had compassion for her situation, Not knowing what to say to her, or do…I remember at that moment praying and asking God to help me be the best social worker I could ever be, for Him. It’s like at that very moment I decided to tabernacle with God, and make my life’s work an altar for him to come in and “alter” my own soul. I allowed my soul to be the place in which he could change me, develop me, shift m priorities, and right there I invited him into my work. If my life were to be a work of divine influence and transformation by working with people I wanted his light to shine through me as I helped His people.
As I searched for meaning with the word “alter” by definition, I found words like: ” transform, shift, develop, or change”. This indeed was my charge: I had decided long ago, I was called to do this work of working to change lives. The call to social work, was the type of field I was to influence and help wounded soldiers; the type of work hat healed emotions and soothed souls. This was my work. I even saw I mirrored the life of Jesus: He was the type of person that did the same, Jesus. He was the best social worker there ever was, and he implemented His job with the greatest care and the greatest compassion, and character there ever was.
I learned a humongous lesson, during my early years that lad the foundation for “free work”. Although I received a paycheck, I was living a calling and this work helped set others free. As I notice the influence and trail I have left behind, I realize I have been very blessed with a career full of wonderful options and divine encounters with God through my work and I have learned a few lessons along the way:
1. That God’s work was my work.
I learned early on, I couldn’t do work without God. He needs me, to complete the work, and I needed Him to give it to me. This began a career of fully offering my life to God, through my work. I believe it has blessed me significantly to finally end up in a place of becoming an entrepreneur and fully loving what I do.
2. That I should never take anyone for granted that crosses my path. It may be an opportunity to work for God.
Believing that every opportunity and every situation i experience already was determined and sent ahead for me, comforts me. It leaves an imprint of peace upon my life; when I was discouraged or uncertain about my career and unable to be guided clearly.
3. That Compassion that has an arm rest name is: Jesus.
Whenever I feel like I am vulnerable and cannot figure out where I am going and what God would have me to do, I will call on Him for help. I have not ceased to do this, and as I do, God manages to preserve me. I have a certain kind of strength need to help me through any challenge, any story and any valley as it pertain to my career.
Freedom in your work involves an offering. A Sacrifice. Making a sacrifice for what is really something good and had lots of potential. And determining that goodness really is… must be in the center of what your work involves. It as a wonderful grace flow when you allow God to be in the center of it, continually. God is simply always looking for a sacrifice. and if we make that altar or “alter ” our lives, then we have an amazing chance to live it for His glory.
Questions for reflection:
1 .Has God ever prompted you to give more on your job and turn it over to Him?
2. If you struggle with this decision, have you given that exact challenge unto God before addressing it?
3. Abraham had to sacrifice his own will and his good pleasure, His son – at a time when he just seemed to fall apart with the idea of what did not make any sense at all. Is there something in your life that does not make sense, yet you determine in your heart to follow through, because the work and impact for Him, may be just be that much greater?
Father, we humbly submit our wills to you, as we struggle with the notion that we may not know the full essence of what you are offering us when you say, “Feed My Sheep.” If we mumble or complain a bit too loudly, please forgive us and help us to surrender all the more. Help us to realize how we are called to transform, shift, develop, or change.