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Day 22—Saturday, March 9

Ecclesiastes 3:9-14

What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all his toil – this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.


These verses from Ecclesiastes come right after the well-known “There is a time for everything…” passage and they build on the theme that God has a special place for everything in the world. Even when we cannot see the big picture, God can. Even when we don’t understand why something is happening, God does. Even when something seems out of place to us, God knows the reason. Because God has “made everything beautiful in its time.” We can live confidently in each season of our life, knowing that God is the master of eternity and has already put everything in its rightful place.


This passage also tells us that God’s gift to us is to “be happy and do good” and to “eat and drink and find satisfaction in all [our] toil”. Since we know that God has already ordered all of eternity, we can be at peace with the here and now. At first, I thought it was odd that the passage instructs us to be happy, eat, drink, and find satisfaction in our work. With all the grief and sorrow and hardship in the world, isn’t it selfish to worry about those things for ourselves? Shouldn’t we spend our energy trying to right all of the wrongs that we see around us?


Yet, while there is a time to work for peace and justice in the world, God also wants us to find joy in our lives. He has created this beautiful world for us to live in and part of our job is to enjoy it! So, as I go about my days, I am trying to pay attention to the things that make me happy: a bright red cardinal sitting on a tree branch in my yard, the sweet sound of my 18 month old “singing” in his car seat, the delicious taste of cookies straight from the oven, the peaceful silence that comes after a snowfall, the coziness of my kids cuddled up to read a story together, the fragrance of fresh flowers in my kitchen. And while these things may seem trivial in the grand scheme of life, they are not. These are God’s gifts to His children – God wants us to enjoy the good things in life! So, as you go about your days, I encourage you to use your senses and pay attention to the things that make you happy. And give thanks to God for giving us these beautiful gifts to enjoy!


O God, Master of Eternity and Creator of the World,

In the midst of our busy lives, help us to pay attention to the small joys in our lives.

Grant us the peace to live confidently in our current season of life,

And open our senses to the wonder of Your creation that surrounds us each and every day.

Amen.


-Victoria Skinner

 

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