Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. – Proverbs 6:6-8
For school-age children, you are now going back to school this month after the summer break. Adults are going back to more full-time work after the vacation season of the summer. September is a time to focus on hard work and the labors that God gives us.
We can be tempted to shy away from doing that work. We love the rest of summer. We love being able to do what we want instead of having to do the work required of us. It can be tempting to be lazy and refuse to put effort into the work God puts before us. But God calls the person who is capable of working and yet refuses to do so a sluggard—a lazy person. Laziness is different from taking time to rest and become refreshed. God provides healthy rest, knowing the weakness of our bodies. But for those who are strong and able to work, God commands work and provides the work he has ordained for each person.
For the ant, God gives the work of gathering food and storing it for the winter so that the ant colony will survive. The ant works hard all summer to find food, and God has ordained by his good pleasure to use that work as the means to keep the ant and its colony alive. So too, God provides daily bread for his people. He uses our hard work, whether as students now or when we are adults later, to provide for our families and for the church.
The task before you as students this year may appear daunting. You might feel like a little ant surrounded in a large world with a large and heavy burden to carry on your shoulders. Pray to God for the strength to complete the work he gives you to do.
Originally published September 2021, Vol 80 No 9