Anyone who has read this post for any length of time will know that I believe in the unerring Word of God. What one finds between the covers of the Bible is God-inspired, God-protected, and is "useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." (2 Tim. 3:16 NIV)
You will also know that I have always believed pursuing one's own
happiness above all else is a selfish way to live, and that in the end,
our lives will be happier when we think more about others than
ourselves. You will understand my confusion, then, when I read Eccl.
8:15: "So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing
better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad.
Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God
has given them under the sun." (NIV).
Hum. I would truly have to mediate upon this text before I could fully
comprehend what it meant to me. I closed my Bible and proceeded to go
about my day.
It was my oldest son's 23rd birthday, and the thought made
me more than a little nostalgic. Especially when I realized he was no
longer my little boy. Yes, he is a wonderful young man, one who makes me
very proud. But he is also one who doesn't want (or need?) his mom to be
continually trying to solve his problems and giving him advice. This
often leaves me wondering if there is any further role for me in his
I was talking to God about this the following morning when my cat jumped
onto the chair to sit at my feet. Although my cat is loving, it is only
on her terms. It must be when she wants, where she wants, and how she
wants. I have accepted this about her, and I have resigned myself to
enjoying my time with her whenever she gives it.
As I was contemplating this, it occurred to me that this is how God
interacts with us. Most of us have my cat's mentality when it comes to
spending time with God. We are willing and ready to do so, but only in
our own time, and usually only when we need something. Just like I would
love for my cat to come more often, God's heart is breaking to spend
more time with us. But just as I accept and enjoy the time my cat does
give me, God also accepts us where we are. He respects our decisions and
our power of choice, and He is ever ready to help us, to be there for
us, to reach out and hold our hands the moment we turn to him.
That's when God spoke to me about my relationship with my kids. I need
to approach it in the same way as I approach the relationship with my
cat, in the same way He approaches our relationship with Him. I need to
enjoy and fully appreciate the times when I am blessed with their
company. I need to accept and love them for who they are. I need to
encourage them to be independent and allow them to make their own
I opened my Bible then, and I was impressed to reread Eccl. 8:15, but
this time, I continued reading the next two verses: "When I applied
my mind to know wisdom and to observe the labor that is done on
earth--people getting no sleep day or night--then I saw all that God has
done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all
their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if
the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it." (Eccl.
That's when I realized something powerful: I will never have all the
answers to parenting. Hey, I will never have all the answers to
anything! And the more I seek those answers, the more I will realize how
little I truly comprehend, and how much I need to rely on the Truths of
So what is God telling me in vs. 15 ("...there is nothing better for
a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad...")?
Simply this: Rather than seeking to know the answers to all of life's
dilemmas, I simply need to "eat and drink and be glad". I need
to be happy with and thankful for the things God has given me, and when
I do, "...joy will accompany [me] in [my] toil all the days of the
life God has given [me] under the sun"!
Think about it!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two,
Author -- "Aboard
God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer",
Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter,
Scriptural Nuggets, a
website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with
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