July 28, 2020
Today’s devotion is based on Ecclesiastes 12:9-14, “Besides being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs with great care. The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth. The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man, for God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”
It isn’t clear how old King Solomon was when he wrote Ecclesiastes. He shares verse after verse of negativity, despair, death and bold hopelessness. Reading this stuff can be discouraging. Wow, this sense of being completely flattened by something really drains the fuel from your tank. A downward spiral can kick off and seem to accelerate with each moment. Oh no, this is hopeless. So, how do I get out of this?
The answer is found in the verses for today. Knowing that God is the giver of all life and that people go to their eternal home guarantees that hope is a gift from God that is alive, vibrant, and real. How good is it that hope doesn’t rely on us or anything we do or can’t do or mess up or try to fix up! It is all God’s work. He comes to us in every moment, and authentically understands that life on earth isn’t shiny. He gets the ugly stuff. When everything seems lost, he sits quietly in the ashes with us, puts his arms around us, and loves us.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, I am yours. Thank you for loving me, no matter what. Your unconditional love fills my life with hope in times of despair and uncertainty In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.