Why God? Why do you have me in this place?
Many of us wrestle with finding transcendent purpose in our daily work. The type of work. The people in our sphere. Unhealthy stress. Inadequate pay. A lack of understanding by others––and no desire on their part to truly know us. Work can easily feel like a grind or a necessary evil rather than something we would choose to do. If we had a choice.
Full-time workers spend more waking hours each week working than any other activity.
The good news: In this season of life––no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in––we can see redemption for our daily time and effort. And we can experience peace and purpose in the here and now. How? By seeking God and His perspective of our work.
God is a worker. A creator. A provider. A sustainer of life. And since the beginning of time, God has continued working as a Master Strategist. Sometimes we see the way He encounters us and orchestrates His unmistakable plan. Sometimes He works behind the scenes. But God never stops working for the benefit of His beloved creation. And the expansion of His Kingdom on earth continues workplace by workplace.
When we place our trust in God, part of our faith journey includes seeking Him and trusting Him in our work.
While God may not reveal all the details of why He has placed us in this workplace for this season, we can rest assured that He has prepared specific good works for us (Eph 2:10). So let’s consider four areas of purpose in our current work. Use these as prayer points to talk to Jesus about your specific work and workplace.
- The work itself. Excellent work is excellent work no matter what kind of work it is. By working with excellence: you glorify God (Col 3:17, 23) and you represent Him as a critical workplace ambassador (2 Cor 5:17–21). Additionally, working with integrity (thereby becoming a trusted worker in your role) establishes you as an integral part of God’s kingdom expansion. Don’t diminish your potential impact by thinking your work isn’t important or your workplace isn’t on God’s radar. God invites you today to join in His Kingdom work through your work. Bring the power of prayer into your work by: praying before meetings, doing a prayer walk through the halls, and praying for patience as you encounter difficult or mundane tasks.
- The people at your work. As you work with excellence and integrity, you earn the respect and trust of coworkers. This lays the foundation for you to serve as Christ’s workplace ambassador. God has strategically placed you in your workplace for such a time as this. You interact with people on a regular basis that pastors, church staff, and paid missionaries will never reach. You have the opportunity to show genuine care by getting to know coworkers and by demonstrating acceptance, gratitude, grace, and love. Bring the power of prayer into the lives of others by: praying for their roles at work, praying for their personal relationships and challenges, and praying for your interactions with them. And if you learn that a coworker is struggling, ask if you can pray for them, pray diligently, and follow up with them in a few days.
- A crucible for transformation. We don’t like to think that certain seasons filled with difficulty may actually constitute God’s plan for us. But for many workers, God orchestrates foundation-setting challenges for our stretching, growth, and spiritual transformation. As you endure periods of strain in your work, press into God through His Word and through prayer. Spend some time sitting with Jesus and talking through these three questions:
- God, what is good in this?
- God, is there something You want me to learn?
- God, is there something different You want me to do?
- The next position. Whether we feel underutilized, underappreciated, burned out, or just ready to move into our next gig, it’s hard to wait for something new to open up. We can actively wait by proactively pursuing new opportunities, but this can lead to discouragement if a new role doesn’t open right away. What I’ve experienced firsthand––and what many friends have experienced too––is that our timing doesn’t always correspond to God’s timing. As you pray for God to open new doors, also pray for His perspective on your job change and pray through these potential delays:
- Your next position may not exist yet.
- Your next role may currently be occupied by someone else and God hasn’t prompted the opening of the position.
- God may want to do more in and through you in your current role before shepherding you to the next position.
Friends, God invites us to join Him as He actively works in every single workplace. Pray for eyes to see, and wisdom to discern, the divine appointments of each day. Your presence and actions at work can directly add to the impact and expansion of God’s Kingdom on earth––in the work itself, in the lives of those you connect with, and in the culture of your workplace. Christ has equipped you with talents and experience, and He has strategically placed you in this season. May you feel His presence, peace, and pleasure as you offer your work and your workplace to Him.
Let’s humbly offer thanksgiving for the invitation to His mission. And rather than asking, “God, why do you have me in this place?” let’s pray, “Lord, show me how I can join you in this place.”