Ecclesiastes - When Life Doesn't Make Sense
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (KJV)
These poetic verses were read at my grandmother's funeral several years ago. They were some of her favorite Bible verses and they have become some of my favorites as well.
My daily Bible reading has taken me to the Book of Ecclesiastes the past couple of days and the timing was perfect to revisit some of those "trying to make sense of life" Scriptures.
This past weekend our community was shaken by a horrible tragedy. A 17-year-old girl was killed in a senseless incident. A young man threw a heavy brick through the windshield of a car; she was injured and died several hours later. I can not imagine what the girl's family is going through. She left behind a mom and dad and a little sister. The local high school has been mourning her loss as well and there will be a candlelight vigil in her memory tonight.
However, there is also another family involved here. The young man who threw the brick also has parents and siblings who love him very much and are also in disbelief over what has happened. He has been charged with murder. I can not fathom what his family is going through either.
I am sure that both families are hurting deeply and they need lots of prayer.
Another terrible incident happened over the weekend to a friend from church. He is an Alcohol Law Enforcement Officer and was working undercover at a local pub. When he attempted to arrest some young men for drinking underage, he was attacked and received a blow to the head. He suffered multiple blow out fractures and a deep laceration to the head. Praise the Lord he will be okay! He is married and has two small sons. Can you imagine what his wife felt when she got the phone call?
And then some of our friends and neighbors lost a loved one this weekend. An elderly man who was loved as a husband, a father, and a grandfather. He was the grandfather of one of my daughter's best friends and Madison and I visited the funeral home last evening. Grief is everywhere.
Life is precious. We lose loved ones, both young and old. But how do we make sense of the tragedies in life? Why do some live to be grandparents, even great-grandparents and others are taken way before their life even really gets started?
I certainly do not have the answer. It's a sobering thought, but eventually we will all die.
Ecclesiastes 9:12 says, "Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them."
It sounds so cliche but we don't know when our last day will be and we really should live each day like it could be our last. Kind of makes me want to hug my kids a little tighter and tell my mama and daddy that I love them.
The author of Ecclesiastes (thought to be Solomon) talks on and on about life being "Meaningless! Meaningless!, Everything is meaningless!" (Eccl. 12:8) Only to conclude in the end that it is the duty of man to fear God and keep his commandments. (See Eccl 12:13) "For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil." Ecclesiastes 12:14
God knows everything. If you read Psalm 139 you will find that He knows everything that will happen in our life before we are ever born. "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:16
James 4:14 asks, "What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."
Again, I am not going to pretend to know or understand why bad things happen. Here's what I do know. We have a Savior who loves us and has made a way for us to spend eternity with Him. (See the following Salvation verses: John 3:16; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; 1 Peter 1:18-19)
Our life may be a mist and as someone who's turning 40 in just a few days, each year is starting to go by quicker and quicker. 40 used to sound really old!
Praise God this life is NOT all there is! If we have accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, we can look forward to the day when we will live with Him forever and "He will wipe every tear from [our] eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain..." Revelation 21:4 This is the only true comfort I can find when life just doesn't make sense.
Only a life without Jesus is meaningless!
Praying for the hurting and the lost,