I am thinking of the money you need to live, your income, your pay check. And the constant demands you face. Especially younger families with school-age children often have a hard time to make ends meet; there is no end to what is needed in a family. From the money that comes in, they pay a little debt here, an overdue bill there. The car needs unexpected repair and you wonder what the bill will be like. Work itself is for many an ongoing struggle. Many jobs are not secure. People face tensions at their jobs. Worry is wide-spread. Life is a rat-race, we sometimes say. And it seems that we have lost the capacity of having deep and abiding joy. The Prophet Haggai, always the poet, had his own view of life's struggles. Said he,
"... you eat but never have enough, you drink but you never have your fill, you clothe yourselves but no one is warm; and he who earns wages puts them in a bag with holes" (1:6,7).
We live in a society where toughness has been developed into an art. Marketing skills and salesmanship add their bit in making needs felt painfully. A monstrously deceptive advertising industry spews its torrent of falsehoods on the public so as to hammer down all resistance. We often don't realize the power it holds over our youth. Greed and exploitation rob daily work of joy. In Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Uncle Ben tells his nephew Willly Loman, "Life is a jungle, Willy, be hard. Some go into the jungle and find the diamond. Some go in and are caught by the tigers. Life is a jungle, Willy, be hard."
Our Christian profession is so important in so many ways. It also involves facing the realities of daily life. In some ways, we begin the day trusting that God will help and sustain us. Our relationship with God must be tended. We draw Him into our daily experiences. We cultivate his company. In the depth of our hearts we talk with Him. We share our worries with him. We commit our loved ones to Him. We seek His guidance. In the darkness of the night, He is there, ready for a talk with us. And God is with us in another way. We may ask Him to make us worthy representatives of him in daily life, at the job, and in whatever company surrounds us. Rather than to see this as yet another burden, we may experience that it actually provides us with strength, courage and resolve.
Money problems? They will be there, probably for most of our lives. But we have our heavenly Father who in the power of the Holy Spirit will accompany us and see us through.