Are you weary? Or feeling weighed down from the grind of the world? I’ve had a busy few days and am recovering from a cold, and I feel tired as I write this! But I’ve been reading Ecclesiastes as part of my morning prayers of late, and it continues to encourage me, albeit in curious ways.
For example, take this rhetorical question; ‘What does the worker gain from his toil?’ (3:9). To which the answer is, ultimately… nothing! We live in fallen world, our efforts are often frustrated, and no matter how successful today has been, there is always more to do tomorrow. But I find it oddly refreshing to find this pessimistic observation in the bible! It debunks the myth that we are supposed to feel great all the time and honestly recognises that much of this life is, and always will be, tedious. And that’s OK, because as Christians, life in this world is not our final home, nor is it where we place our hopes.
And yet life is not all bad and God sustains his people as they wait for his return. As Ecclesiastes concludes on the matter of toil; ‘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’ (3:12-13).
If you are feeling weary, or are not looking forward to the tasks of this coming week, ask God to sustain you with joy and satisfaction in your work, and focus each day on giving thanks to him for all good things that you do enjoy, despite the toil of this world.
Ben Soderlund – Assistant Minister