(Note to readers: This post is a bit heavy, be forewarned.)
Well, our church is going through the series:
Waste Management: Sometimes life’s like running on a treadmill – plenty of activity, never really getting anywhere. It can feel like just a waste. We long for something profound, significant; a reason for living that taps into our passions, moving us beyond routine. WASTE MANAGEMENT, our new series through Ecclesiastes will help us discover such a life.
It’s been a great reminder that in life crazy stuff happens – our only fulfillment and true joy comes out of Christ. I don’t know about the rest of you hearing this series…is it just me? As we’re honing in on the everything is meaningless stuff and seeing things are seasonal, I am experiencing this BIG time, right now, in my own life. The past 2 weeks I’ve had some really tragic news from friends and family who are grieving the loss of a loved one; another friend who experienced a terrible situation; I fell hard yesterday and have a really sore body, I’m catching a cold, I got pulled over on the way to work today – wasn’t speeding and didn’t really know what I did wrong – but the officer cited “failure to accurately position vehicle for a turn”. I had about 60 feet to make a right hand turn and get into the far left lane – I do this dozens of times a day, but I didn’t put my blinker on long enough or something…I’m still confused.
Anyway…back to life and Ecclesiastes…funding where I work has caused some severe cuts, and my job may be in jeopardy. Life sometimes is like sticky honey all over your hands. It’s annoying and gets really frustrating.
This series has helped me take a step back so that I can take all these heartaches and annoyances in stride. Realizing BIG TIME that I am NOT in control, but God is. Lasting fulfillment comes from honoring God in ALL we do, not just when it’s easy, but ALL the time. Somehow, when I manage to put this in to practice, the things that were robbing me of my joy grow distant and the true joy that I find in Christ fills me up and spreads over me like a warm blanket on a chilly day. (Why can’t I remain there!)
Found this excerpt in my devotional Bible: (Ecc 1:1 – 2:26 was the related passage – I am sharing some of the devo mixed with my thoughts…)
Without God, all of our work pleasure, and wisdom are useless. It is as if we are on an ocean beach called Earth. WE are frantic. We build castles – or at least we think we do. But what we are really doing is just throwing up sand piles as fast as we can before the next big wave comes in. And that wave IS coming in. We can’t run from it; there’s no escaping it, we will stay on the beach and build our castles higher, bigger, more elaborate. We won’t enjoy them. There will be no time for that. The wave is coming…we live in a fallen world.
We have somehow reduced Jesus to be our Jesus. We are so accustomed to responding to our Jesus that we have forgotten how to respond to the Son of the Living God. His teachings have been taken with the pragmatic view of helping me not followed because we must obey and can do nothing else. His words have been diluted by so many diverse therapies that all we know to respond to is a feel good diety, a piece of religious plastic which we label, God.
God is here in our world, NOW. He has been all the time. He calls to scrambling, grasping people like us through the words of Jesus Christ, “come unto me.” When we gain His perspective, things begin to right themselves. We may not humanly understand, but we apply active faith and trust. We shed the need for control and embrace the knowledge that God has a plan. That it isn’t meaningless, that in His sovereignty, He will show us His faithfulness. That His ways ARE higher than ours. That He will never leave us. That He will take our anxiety and cares upon Himself, in turn offer peace, sustaining us through every situation! In Christ we have HOPE! Praise God!
Note: I am learning again through this message series how to find joy in all things – through Christ. The pain, the joy, life in ALL aspects, can have meaning with God’s perspective, with His direction, with His provision, with His promises. Lord, keep me there. I am tired of wandering.