By Thomas Moll
Director of Content and Innovation
I’ve always liked to know how things work. When I was a child, under my bed was a graveyard of toys and electronic devices that I had taken apart to figure out how they operate. My parents would have appreciated it if I would have also had a passion for putting things back together. As we grow, we live and learn how the world around us works.
But, how does God work? In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask for God to give us this day our daily bread. We ask this in confidence, knowing that God provides. But, how? How does God accomplish His work?
God uses people.
Here is how Gene Veith puts it in his wonderful book, “Working for Our Neighbor: A Lutheran Primer on Vocation, Economics, and Ordinary Life.”
“God’s normal way of working in the world is through means. He does not have to use means, and he is capable of working immediately. He can heal with a miracle, just as he once provided the children of Israel their daily bread — the manna of the wilderness — without farmers and bakers. But God’s normal way of operating is through human beings. This is because he desires us to serve one another.”
When you pray that God might care for your child going to college for her first semester, you can imagine how God may work through good Christian friends, caring professors, or a conscientious adviser. Another way to think about God’s work is that He not only works through people; He works through you!
God cares for his children through you as a parent as you care for your child’s unique needs with love and consideration. God cares for those in your neighborhood as you water your neighbors garden when they go out of town or when you check on those who live next to you in your independent living facility.
We do all of this knowing that God did the hardest job for us. As we serve those around us, we can remember that Jesus, “emptied himself, by taking on the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:7
Jesus died on the cross for you and your neighbor. Jesus rose that you and your neighbor may have life everlasting. May you work heartily each day knowing that God is working in and through you to accomplish His purposes!
Veith, Gene. Working for Our Neighbor: A Lutheran Primer on Vocation, Economics, and Ordinary Life. Christian’s Library Press.