Lent Devotional: Ecclesiastes 3
by Jonathan Haefs
Ecclesiastes 3 (click here)
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven… (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man. I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. (Ecclesiastes 3:9-14)
Time marches on…and we are caught on the treadmill of life. One season gives way to another. There is no slowing down, no going back, and no knowing what is coming in the future. Time makes us realize how much we are NOT in control.
Yet, we know there is one who is in control…for he has placed eternity in our hearts. Within us, there is a built-in sense that our lives must be part of a larger picture. We long to make sense of everything we experience precisely because our instincts tell us everything is supposed to make sense. Time is not so random as it seems when we experience it…no…there is a pattern, but it is too large for us to see the whole.
God alone sees time from beginning to end. We know something of eternity…something of his larger purposes, but we cannot see the whole as he can. So what are we to do? Trust. We trust the one who is over time and who sees the whole picture. As each seemingly random event comes our way, we find joy in the fact that God has given us each moment (even the difficult ones) as a gift. He has graciously included us as a part of his eternal purposes. His work will endure forever…and he has made us a part of that. So we live trusting him…we live by faith.
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.