How God uses your work to answer prayers

[God] makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate—bringing forth food from the earth...All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. (Psalm 104:14, 27)

After praying and thanking God for our dinner, my daughter Kate (3 at the time) said, “Daddy, God didn’t give us this food. Mommy bought it at the grocery store!”

“You’re right, Kate,” I said. “Mommy did buy this food at the grocery store. But who created the apple on your plate?” 

“God,” Kate answered.

“That’s right,” I said. “And he also made the farmer that picked that apple, and the engineers who built a truck to take the apples to the grocery store which was built by entrepreneurs, carpenters, and bankers. God used the work of all of those people and more to give us this dinner!”

By this point, I had long lost Kate’s attention. But one day, I pray she will read Psalm 104 and appreciate what I was trying to teach her.

The Psalmist says that God "makes grass grow," but leaves it "for people to cultivate" the land. And this is just how God intended from the beginning—even prior to sin entering the world! 

In Genesis 2, we’re told that, after God began creating, “no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up.” Why? Because “the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground” (see Genesis 2:5).

You see it, right? God could have made shrubs, grass, and food grow all on his own. But he chose to delegate that work to his image-bearers—a theme we see all throughout God’s Word.

Sure there are times in Scripture in which God miraculously provided for his people (see Exodus 16 and Matthew 14:13-21). But most of the time, we see God working through the miracle of human work. 

“God could easily give you grain and fruit without your plowing and planting,” said Martin Luther, “but he does not want to do so.” Because you and I are the primary instrument through which God works in this world.

Knowing that—that your work is nothing less than the means through which God feeds, heals, and sustains the world—lean into your work with joy, excellence, and love today!


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