Blog - Becoming Christ-Like
God Makes Workplace Burdens LightFriday, September 11, 2015
This story begins in an adult Sunday school class. During our discussion, "Bob” told how God had made a way through a workplace crisis. He later agreed to a video-recording for use in the church service. With the help of a friend on the camera, we did the interview in our living room.
He had been supervising about 20 people in a major telecommunications company. The difficulty began when he was asked to oversee more than 40 who were working three shifts around the clock. He soon discovered one shift was full of bitter employees who came to view him as more enemy than friend. Over the next two years, he often received harassing phone calls in the middle of the night. Worn down, he felt completely overwhelmed. "One day,” he said, "at my desk in front of everyone--not really caring about what people thought, I just bowed my head and asked God to take the burden.”
"And what happened then?” I asked.
"Immediately,” he said, "the burden was lifted and I felt this warmth around me. For a moment I lost all sense of what was going on around me and was just hearing this calm voice.” When he got up from his desk he knew that he needed to make the decision to get out of management and return to the regular work force.
"What did this experience teach you?”
"That God is there with us 24-7,” he said, "whether we realize it or not.” Later, seeing the change in him, a couple of people came up to him to ask him to explain. Bob believes God may have used this in drawing them to Christ.
Stuart Dugan, Pastor of Lacey Presbyterian Church (Lacey, WA) used this four-minute video as part of his sermon in the church service on Labor Day. His text was Colossians 3:22 – 4:1, in which Paul addressed Christian slaves/employees in the first century.
After the service "Joan,” a woman from the congregation, approached me in tears expressing gratitude for the video. Through the sermon and hearing Bob’s story, God had lifted a work-burden from her. Later, wanting to know more, I called her.
Joan, who works for a government agency, had been dealing with a claimant who is a known drug felon. "I was judging her,” Joan admitted. "After the claimant’s attorney contacted me, I wrote and sent an angry, stinging letter—and immediately regretted it. That night, Friday, I could not sleep and was miserable all through Saturday.”
Then, on Sunday, she heard the Labor Day sermon. What especially spoke to her were the words from Col. 3:25—"Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.” The pastor had explained that since God will take care of those who need to be punished, we can leave that to him without trying to do it ourselves. She also listened as Bob told his story on video. "It is so emotional,” she said, "when your peers tell what is going on their lives.”
And then? "I left that church meeting in tears—but with a heart so light I couldn’t believe the change. When I return to work I will call the attorney and say I should not have written that letter.”
A few days later Joan told me she had indeed called the attorney, who said the drug charge had been hanging over the claimant since her conviction as a teenager. Now, though, the woman is working hard to change her lifestyle and has served as a caregiver for more than 15 years.