Trillia Newbell: Work Matters

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, November 4th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Next up, commentator Trillia Newbell on how work brings glory to God, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

TRILLIA NEWBELL, COMMENTATOR: Recently, I spent a week learning about the life, work, and ministry of brothers and sisters in Rwanda. I joined five other women on a trip to learn about HOPE International, a microfinance ministry based in the U.S. 

When talking about the trip. I’ve tried to avoid sounding terribly cliché. I didn’t want to use terms like life-changing, impactful, and eye-opening. But with each attempt I fail miserably. Meeting these brothers and sisters was indeed life-changing.

One of the many lessons I learned was during a visit with women in a small, remote village in the countryside. During our visit we cultivated the land, grabbed water from a spring, plucked grass to feed the cow, peeled root vegetables for a meal, and learned how to make jewelry. 

We sang and danced and enjoyed fellowship and laughter. Time and time again the women would give thanks to the Lord.  One woman, named Primitive, said: “As soon as you open your eyes, you thank God for another day.” 

We saw an awareness of God’s generosity and nearness that preached to our hearts. 

A typical day for these particular women includes morning prayer. Then five hours of cultivating the land, caring for children, cooking, and making jewelry and baskets to sell. At the end of the day we got to ask questions. I don’t remember the question that sparked this answer, but one woman talked about how proud they are of the work they get to do day after day. They should be!

As I listened to them reflect on their work, I realized that I had a limited idea of glorious, God-driven, beautiful work. I came home overwhelmed by the privilege to cook for my family. The simple act of peeling a potato is an opportunity to invest in the next generation! 

Our work matters. It has value. Your work, however simple it seems, has value. 

That’s one of the many lessons I learned listening to the men and women we got to meet in Rwanda. But it was seeing those women in that remote village, working hard to the glory of the Lord in absolute obscurity that drove this truth deep into my soul. 

Most of our work is never applauded, rarely seen, and simply a part of our daily grind. But God sees it. He sees you. He knows the work you do. And it matters. All of it. 

The Apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthian church reminds them—and us—”So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31). 

Today you and I can join the saints in Rwanda and make the glory of God our aim in everything we do. 

For WORLD Radio, I’m Trillia Newbell.

Wikimedia Commons/Ayoze O´Shanahan

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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