‘Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil – this is a gift of God.’ (v19) Ecclesiastes 5:16–20
As disciples, we accept that all that we have comes from God (1 Chron. 29:14). Each of us is invited to live life with our eyes firmly fixed upon God. However, it’s so easy to be distracted by the appetites that stir within us, from greed to lust.
Whilst our inner appetites, as the Church Fathers described them, easily motivate us, it is God’s Spirit who can mobilise us to live at peace with God, ourselves and our neighbours.
In our pursuit of inner peace we may explore many disciplines. Yet, Scripture reminds us that contentment is found in God alone (John 10:10). Learning to find contentment in the life we find ourselves living is indeed a gift of God. In many ways, it flies in the face of the superficial message society seeks to communicate: That the ideal life is pain-free and financially underwritten. Yet, few enjoy such a life.
We don’t celebrate pain or frugality; however, we discover that God occupies our greatest nightmares as completely as our fantasies. Certainly I have failed many times in ‘accepting my lot’.
I have reacted, been disgruntled, angry, and embittered. However, I only rob myself. Straining to set myself free, my struggles only deepen my despondency, whilst I lose sight of God, and all too easily blame God, making Him the scapegoat for all my troubles.
RELATED SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: 1 Chron. 29:1–20; Psa. 74; Rom. 11:33–12:2; James 1:1–17.
AN ACTION TO TAKE: Where do you struggle to live at peace with God and yourself? It is here that you are invited to seek and find God.
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, may I give thanks every day for the life I have entrusted to You, and may I live with both eyes focused on You alone. Amen.’
Photo by Leo Rivas on Unsplash