Toil: to labor, but with difficulty, weariness and distress; a net or snare (a spider’s web, for example).
When God created the earth, there was not a man to till the ground (Gen 2:5). God made man and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it (Gen 2:15). One version says that God took man and caused him to rest in the garden. It doesn’t mean that Adam didn’t have to do anything because if a man don’t work, he won’t eat (2 Thess 3:10). It meant that there were no worries and there were no cares, but the moment Adam disobeyed God, God cursed the ground and told him that in toil he will eat of it all the days of his life (Gen 3:17).
What we lost because of the first Adam has been restored to us through the last Adam. God sent His Son and redeemed us from the curse of the law. He redeemed us from toiling because God never created us to toil, but He created us to work.
In Luke 5, there were two ships by the lake, but the fishermen were no longer in the ships. They were washing their nets. After Jesus taught the people from one of the ships, he told Simon, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught”.
When Simon washed his nets, that meant he was done, he was fed up, he was tired, he had given up and he was going home. He told Jesus, “I have toiled all night”. Like some of us, he got weary in doing well. He felt like he did all he could and there was no reason to try again, but when Jesus gave Simon a word, Simon said, “Nevertheless at Your word I’ll let down the net”. He had already made up in his mind to give up, but the word gave him hope. That word gave him life and no matter how tired or frustrated Simon was, he felt like he could try again. He felt like he could make it. He felt like things were going to get better.
Just like Simon Peter, we’ve been doing things the same way for years and trying to figure out why we haven’t caught anything. We want change, but we refuse to change. God is not going to do things like He did it the last time. He is doing a new thing. The provision was already made. The fish were ready to be caught, but Simon had to work the word the Lord gave Him.
Jesus said, “Look at the lilies. See how they grow and they don’t toil or spin’. All they do is obey God. He tells them to grow and they grow. God does the rest. They are not naked because God clothes them. He provides for them. If He made it, He will take care of it and He will take care of you. If He cares about flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t He care about you?
God never intended for you to struggle. Some of you feel like the disciples when the waves were beating into the boat. You think you’re going to drown under those bills or whatever you are going through and you are asking the same question the disciples asked Jesus: ‘Don’t you care?’ (Mark 4:38).
God does care.
What was taken from Adam has been given to you and if you take care of it, God will take care of you. He’s your Master, not your taskmaster. He would never tell you to make bricks without giving you the straw. He has supplied all your need.
The only reason why you are toiling is because you are worried – you are worried that God won’t come through. You are worried that it might not happen, but I speak peace to your mind and an end to your toil and struggle in the name of Jesus. May God make your wilderness like Eden and your desert like the garden of the Lord (Isaiah 51:3).