What most of us know about Noah is that he was the man who built the ark, lived on it for 40 days and nights with his family and saved two of every kind of unclean animal (male and his mate), and seven pairs of every clean animal and bird during the biblical flood that covered the earth (Genesis 7:2).
What some of us don’t know about Noah is that he served another valuable purpose for all mankind. Noah was our gift as the “Job Comforter.” So what is a job comforter and why is it so important? A job comforter is someone who can ease your discomfort from a job that you do not find pleasure in, a job where you lack fulfillment, a job where you toil because your purpose is not being met, and a job where your destiny has yet to take fruition – a job that I describe as a vocational wilderness. Basically there are three main reasons why some of you work in an environment that requires a job comforter.
1)Perhaps you are NOT working or living in your purpose.
2)Perhaps you possess a negative mindset.
3)Perhaps you are working in a vocational wilderness.
Let’s begin with point #1) perhaps you are not working or living in your purpose. Some may debate that working and living in ones purpose may not necessarily mesh or coexist. However if you believe that is true then I challenge you to at least consider the possibility of accepting one over the other. For if you will at least live in your purpose you will receive fulfillment and satisfaction because God has planned a great life for all of us, all we have to do is tap into it. He has predestined us for His will (Ephesians 1:11) and His will reflects our purpose and passion. You should also consider that God has provided us with certain gifts and talents (Romans 12:6 & 1 Corinthians 12:4) that we should use to fulfill us as we are connecting to His will for our lives.
According to New York Times best selling Author and Pastor Rick Warren, who wrote The Purpose Driven Life, when we live in our purpose we are connected to God’s plan for our life. In the Message translation of the Bible it states in Colossians 1:16, “everything got started in Him (God) and finds its purpose in Him.” Warren also shares a connection between God’s purpose for our lives and our passion. He states “God gives us different passions so that everything He wants done in the world will get done.”
Just image, there is a specific need for your specific purpose, and that purpose is directly connected to your passion. Whether you chose to relate it to your occupation is up to you, but God’s expectation for you is still the same, to fulfill your purpose. But there are some who believe that working and living in their purpose do not mesh; therefore, they are willing to accept an occupation for the simple means of receiving a paycheck. Although somehow they know that there is a better life for them, they choose to remain in a position where there is no growth, no hope, and no joy. All they have to look forward to is a weekly paycheck and retirement. This brings me to point #2) possessing a negative mindset.
Someone recently shared with me that a job is a simple means to a paycheck. I agreed with that person; he was correct if his mindset was allowing him to receive only money for performing a certain task. Then I took the opportunity to explain to him the difference between a job and fulfilling his purpose. This man, like others possesses a negative mindset when it comes to working. Many believe that the word work has a negative connotation; so much so that we should not receive too much pleasure or fulfillment in what we do, but only expect the end results, a paycheck and retirement.
He is actually a great example of why this concept or realization will not work for everyone. And even after I share the revelation with all of you that God shared with me, some may still be unwilling or unready to break free from the bondage that enslaves them in the vocational wilderness, which is point #3) or too afraid to have faith in what God truly wants us to possess; which is a career that is our purpose, our calling, our destiny.
If you haven’t had the chance to read my blog on the vocational wilderness then perhaps you should take a few moments. But to provide you with a better understanding, a vocational wilderness describes the lack of fulfillment that you can experience with a job. It is a physical environment where you work, combined with the fact that you are not working in your purpose, which is point #1 or perhaps you are not using the gifts (Romans 12:6 & 1 Corinthians 12:4) that you have been blessed with. It is the fact that we become lost in a corporate maze of long hours, weekend work, little to no time with our family and a life that is now impacting our physical and emotional health. This is not the plan that God has for us. God has planned a life a peace, joy, and comfort when it comes to our purpose. Peace that we are connected to His will; joy that we are connected to our passion; and the comfort in providing us with the savior who blessed us from a life of toil and hardship. And that’s where we begin with our Job Comforter.
So what is Noah’s role in this? Well, before I share with you his role, it is important that I share with you what brought us to this point in our lives. And I have to dig back really far in history to bring you up to speed. I’m sure that you are all familiar with Adam and Eve and how they ate the forbidden fruit. Well their actions had consequences, one of which was that they would be banished from the Garden of Eden and required to work the ground from which the apple was taken (Genesis 3:23). Not only would man work the ground but he would sweat from his brow and experience painful toil (Genesis 3:17 & 19) because God cursed the ground due to their disobedience (Genesis 3:17).
Several generations passed between the time that Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden and the time that Noah was born. Noah’s father Lamech saw something special in his son, even at the time of his birth. He saw something so special that he decided to name his child Noah because in Hebrew it means to comfort. Lamech went on to say that my son Noah “will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground that the Lord has cursed” (Genesis 5:29). Lamech’s words had power. And we as God’s children also have power to speak things into being just as He does. But also, God found favor in Noah. Noah was a righteous man; in fact, he was one of the only righteous men who had a personal relationship with God during this time and therefore God honored Lamech’s prayerand Noah not only saved his family and every species of animal on this earth from the flood but he also provided us with a great gift, the gift of comfort in the workplace.
After the flood when Noah left the ark and built an altar to the Lord and began to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, God was pleased. He was so pleased with Noah, and his obedience, that He stated, “Never again will I curse the ground because of man… and never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done” (Genesis 8:21).
The curse placed on the labor for mankind to work in toil and by the sweat of our brow was tough. But now we are predestined to live a life with purpose and to work a job in comfort. So I ask you, what is it that you can do to recognize and honor how God has blessed us? What is it that you can do to receive the blessing that Noah put forth in releasing us from a life without purpose, a negative mindset, and working in a vocational wilderness? What will you do now that you know that God has a great plan for your life, and that plan reflects your passion, your gifts, and ultimately your purpose?