Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mourning: Better Than Joy: Eccl. 7: 2-4

English: The Bible
English: The Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When love came knocking shortly after I got saved, I worried I would make the same mistakes I made when I had married. That relationship proved damaging to who I was as a human, so I prayed that God would shut every door He needed if He did not want me with Harry.

Every door opened. So I let down my guard and allowed myself to love deeply. Then Harry broke off with me, and my world spun out of control. He claimed the cliche: it was him, not me. He wasn't ready for marriage. A week later he began dating a friend of mine.

We all attended the same church, so I had to hold no hard feelings against anyone, but this break-up hurt more than any I had previously--even my marriage.

So new was I at my faith, I understood nothing. I held my Bible in my hands, lifted my voice to God and said, "Lord, they tell me this book holds the key to every problem. If that's true, please open my eyes to Your word."

God answered that prayer abundantly. One thing that has stuck in my brain all these years was Eccl. 7:2-4

 2 It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.

  • In sorrow, we lean on God. Our joy, we attribute to ourselves.
  • In sorrow, we learn of our humanity--both its mortality as well as its dignity
  • In sorrow, we learn compassion and humility.
  • In sorrow, we know our lives end. If life is transient, we best make the most of it.
I can't say I magically made my pain to pass quickly. But the Word of God opened to me, and I found myself dancing around my apartment with joy uncontainable which mitigate my loss.

How have you found sorrow better than joy?

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Eccl. 5:18: Love Life: Sew Simple

Fat Quarters Fabric August received
Fat Quarters Fabric August received (Photo credit: Follow the White Bunny)

"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" (Ecc. 5:18).

I used to love to sew. That is after I pinned the pattern and before I had to rip out seams. Picking the pattern, the material and seeing the dress form under my hands delighted me.

Oh, I could also do without the finishing.

Then one day it hit me. Why did I like sewing? Half of it I despised. I made the decision--to find joy in the minutiae of it. I strove to
lay it out perfectly. I sang as I ripped stitches and strove to make my finish work as fine as the broad strokes. Thus today's Scripture.

To enjoy life, we must:
  1. Find joy in the little things. Is it too cold? Look at the glittering frost, note it's beauty.
  2. Love our job. Some of us do "traditionally" great things--teach, nurse, police, protect. Others pull a lever, drive a truck, cash out customers. What's good in our job? It pays the rent or we get to work on the road away from the idiots in the office or we can chat with a wide variety of weirdos. Each job brings us joy.
  3. Enjoy our sustenance. We have homes. Maybe not million dollar ones with hardwood floors. But they keep us warmer than the elements. We have food. Steak may be too pricey, but who doesn't love pasta?
  4. Be grateful. We live. We feel the warmth of carpet on our toes, the embrace of a child, the fellowship of believers, the taste of olives, the kiss of a spouse, the sight of a sunrise, the touch of a breeze. We have electric, heat, water from a tap, vehicles, shelter.
  5. Fellowship is our Maker. Even those of us who know Him, fear our death. But in the end, eternity will wipe away all our tears--and if we truly know God, our moments here on earth are finer.
For what are you grateful?

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