ECCLESIASTES 5:18-20: “Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.” (ESV
OBSERVATION: Am I enjoying my life? Do I look forward to each day as a gift from God? Do I find contentment in that which I have, rather than always taking note of that which I lack? The Book of Ecclesiastes is written from the perspective of a life that had it all. Solomon had all the wisdom, all the wealth, all the possessions, all the acclaim, that any one person could ever have. In fact, there probably will never be anyone who will achieve the degree of accomplishments that Solomon achieved. Yet, when he looks at everything in his life and all that he has he calls it “Vanity of vanity…a striving after the wind…”
When all is said and done, Solomon concluded from true experience and perspective – there is nothing that you do not have that will bring you the joy that you think you need. In fact, Solomon concludes that all we need to enjoy life, to experience fulfillment, to live with joy in our heart – is right now what we hold in our hands.
Wall Street Marketing sends out a different message. It always reminds us of what we do not have. If we have this set of clothes, if we drive this model of car, if we live in this kind of house, if we possess this level of fame – then we will be happy. Yet, we constantly read the tragic Hollywood stories of those who had it all and really had nothing. Their lives end with a sad tale of misfortune and brokenness. The gift of God is to recognize the gift we already have!
This does not mean that we never try to improve our lives. It is not a call to live in a shack and work at a minimum wage job the rest of our lives. God is not calling us to live below our full potential and squander the gifts and talents He has put in our lives. We need to employ all of these for the glory of God. However, as we do – we need to find enjoyment in the place that we are at this very moment. Not to sound trite – but we need to stop and appreciate the roses that are already growing in our present garden. If all we ever do in life is focus on the things that we do not have we will truly live an empty and unfulfilled life.
This is the message Solomon is conveying in these verses. The one who sees his life and work as a gift from God – right where he is currently at – is in the position to experience a continual outpouring of joy and fulfillment in his life. As the Lord blesses him, and as he grows and expands his horizon, he walks in the midst of this joy, for he has learned the secret of contentment – “For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.”
Lord, this morning I ask You to forgive me for focusing on what I do not have, rather than praising You for what is already in my hand. I ask You to grant me Your Grace to rejoice in the work that You have given me to do, and to find fulfillment in all that You have placed in my hand. I know that You will lead and guide me through every trial, You will provide every need I have in times of lack. I know that if I place my faith and trust in You – I will enter into Your perfect will for my life and abide in Your Joy!
In Jesus Name!