In Every Good Endeavor, Tim Keller reminds us that work is indispensable to meaningful human life. In rhythm with rest, we need to work to thrive emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
How then do we cope with a shift in the parameters of our work? This may be as ordinary as retirement, as tragic as an accident or illness, or as confusing as a vocational setback.
Whatever the cause, Dietrich Bonhoeffer gained helpful insight while in a Nazi prison:
The great thing is to stick to what one still has and can do—there is still plenty left—and not to be dominated by the thought of what one cannot do, and by feelings of resentment and discontent.
Bonhoeffer understood that altered circumstances do not negate the promises of God. We are still God’s workmanship, “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
As before, God is able to provide what we need, “so that by always having enough of everything, [we] may share abundantly in every good work” (Philippians 4:2 Corinthians 9:8).
And we can find ways to use our gifts “to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace . . . in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:10).
Though conditions change, we can be “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord [our] labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).