“That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil–this is the gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 3:13
I like it when God stacks things up…
I have been listening to my first audiobook (well, if you count the time in high school when the day before school began my buddies and I thought we could just listen to a book on tape rather than read our summer reading book–who knew it takes longer to listen?) about the fall of the financial market in 2007 and 2008 called Too Big to Fail.
Then this past week, my mom gave me manuscripts from talks delivered by my great-grandfather, who was NOT an ordained pastor, but a lay church planter. As I devoured his words, I discovered how relevant his messages from the 1950s are for us. He wrote, “As far back as we can go…there has been one main objective in the mind of man, that is, to possess security.” Later he says, “We respect one who through his own efforts has accomplished success in material things. Yet such a man would be the first to tell you that regardless of the amount of his worldly goods he cannot be assured of retaining his life, and certainly much of life cannot be obtained with silver and gold.”
I have also been reading Ecclesiastes for my personal devotion, which is not much of a pick-me-up. But I have appreciated how relevant Solomon’s depiction of the pursuit of wealth, meaning, power, and women has been in his life. He has tried to find security through an increase in knowledge, the pursuit of pleasure and the accumulation of material stuff…all of which he declares are meaningless.
Security, he discovers, rests only in the gift of God. The above verse shows that we can enjoy today–the joy of table fellowship, a good conversation over Starbucks coffee, the value of hard work–because all of this is a gift from God.
In this season of Advent, which means waiting, we can find security in our fears, doubts, anxieties, concerns through the story of Jesus Christ’s birth, death and resurrection. This story gives meaning, value and purpose to our lives as we seek to live for Him. While we may be storing up treasures here on earth that will one day fail, His promise is that He will give us real life…and real life abundantly.