Have you ever felt like everything you do is just an exercise in futility? Like all the hard work is for nothing?
Well, I am well acquainted with that feeling and so was the author of Ecclesiastes.
Here is the way he articulated it in Ecclesiastes Chapter 2:
17So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.
19And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity.
20Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.
21When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge and skill, then he gives his legacy to one who has not labored with them. This too is vanity and a great evil.Unlike the man on the top of the mountain in the cartoon, I know that everything does have a reason and that my laboring won't be in vain, although some days it feels that way.
My name is written in the Lamb's book of Life and every single day is ordered, if I will just listen to His voice. I can live in the center of His will for me and not be subject to the futility of life. His joy is my strength.
But as the writer of Ecclesiastes goes on to say, there is a time for everything. We remember it as a popular song of the 60s, but it actually comes from Ecclesiastes 3:
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
God's promise is not that we can avoid all of the hardship of life, but that through it all, He will be there - watching our back, covering us under fire, nurturing us and healing our wounds.Lord, may today be a time of love, one of dancing and one of harvest of my labors. Bless those that have been supporting Michael and I through these challenging times.