I’m sorry to hear that work is pretty hard going, I hope it will improve soon.
I won’t try and answer the question of God’s will as I’d like others to join in the conversation too.
I’ve been working for 20+ years (in info technology) and have been through some difficult times. I struggle to get the balance between work/life right, and there are so many competing demands for our time. Work, family, parenting, marriage, church responsibilities seem heavy a lot of days. Honestly, sometimes I’d like to run away from the lot; but I know that’s not the answer (not to mention that would betray the people I love, the responsibilities I have (as husband/father) and talents God’s give me), God gives us enough strength to go through tough times, not escape from them.
This question really made me think; can we work passionately on something (paid work, volunteer, church work, a creative outlet such as a hobby, or whatever else) but leave the results with our work with God? We can’t control what others think of us, how others react to our to our personality, and we can’t control life events, and sometimes our efforts will fail and we can get up and try again and learn from it.
I’ve really enjoyed the book ‘Anxious for Nothing’ by John MacArthur, and have read it about 10 times over the last 10 years to remind myself that God is in control of events, God loves us because of Jesus Christ. yes we work hard, love others and give up of ourselves, but if we loosen control of the outcome of our efforts, it somehow frees us from the weight of our own expectations and the expectations of others. The question: What does God think of us is much more important that what do others think of us. And most importantly God loves us, not because of what we do, but because of who we are; His children. And because of who we are, we can take time out to rest (celebrate and spend time with friends, make time to recharge with a creative outlet because God has made us creative like Him).
One of my favourite passages to help me to rest in God’s love when I’m feeling burnt out and need to stop and recharge is in Romans. maybe it will encourage you too. I especially find comfort in verses 38 and 39.
God’s Everlasting Love
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Have you heard the funny old story about the two woodchoppers; the one guy who chopped relentlessly and the guy who stopped and sharped his ax. The guy who took time to rest/reflect and recharge won in the end. it’s just a secular illustration, but i think there’s a little wisdom in it. We need balance in our lives. (https://screeble.com/blog/2017/03/07/story-of-two-woodcutters/)
The other thing I’ve learnt is to try to live in ‘day tight compartments’; at the end of the day stop and rest and think to myself, the day is over, tomorrow will have it’s own problems but I will worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes (Jesus’ instructions to us to do this is in Matthew 6:34; but be sure to read the whole chapter as this verse is the conclusion of Jesus’ teaching). It’s not very productive to pull tomorrows problems into today and worry about it. At the end of the day, I think ‘it is what it is, I’ve done what I could with what I had’ and just stop. (I refuse to look at work related emails in the evening and on annual leave, and enjoy an occasional ‘digital detox’ on weekends)
just a few thoughts, hopefully a little helpful. looking forward to others perspective as well.