My roomie said that I picked such a depressing book to read tonight.
Vanity upon vanities...has that been part of my life in NC?
Anyway...I'm TIRED today. Not sleepy tired or physically worn out from exercising (although I am taking a break today), I'm just spiritually exhausted. It hit me all at once this afternoon.
I'm tired of striving to have people think better of me.
I'm tired of being hurt
I'm tired of being sinful
I'm tired of living in a sinful world where people kill each other for no apparant reason (other than the fact they probably don't know Jesus).
I'm tired, plain and simple.
So, I thought of this little acronym:
T - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
I - Incline my heart to fear Your Name
R - Restore unto me the joy of your salvation
E - Ecclesiastes (I actually thought of cease striving, end striving - and that brought me to Ecc)
D - Die to self - for to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Then, the youth pastor at my church in St. Aug preached on resting in Jesus yesterday. I haven't heard it yet, but Matt 11.28-30 is a great passage. Rest in Jesus - his yoke is light, his burden light to carry. Resting in Jesus is better than striving after vanity (bubbles that pop and leave nothing when they hit the ground). Resting in Jesus is better than anything. So, why do I do so little of it.
Vanity of vanities...maybe a depressing book. But, Solomon (or the preacher) thought he had it all too at one point - he found out later he didn't.
Do I really think that all these things are better for me...no. I know my worth is not equal to how much I weigh, how many people I know, what classes I teach, how many girls I disciple, how many women's conferences I lead, etc. But, why do I act on that sometimes - or strive after that?
Ecclesiastes: by The Preacher (or the Holy Spirit in another words)
1.3 What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?
1.14-15 I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. What is crooked cannot be made straight,and what is lacking cannot be counted
2.11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.
2.23-23 What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.
3.2b - a time to pluck up what is planted (have I quit planting, now am working on sowing and plucking up)?
3.11 - He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end
4.1-3 Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.
5.1-3 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool's voice with many words. (stuck right in the middle of this book is a reminder that God is God - He is just and holy - we are sinful man.)
10.5-7 - There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, as it were an error proceeding from the ruler: folly is set in many high places, and the rich sit in a low place. I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves
12.8 - (key verse) Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity.
12.13 - A good note to end on for Solomon - Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. But oh, it is so hard. But for Grace
In the words of Chris Rice..."weak and wounded sinner, lost and left to die"..."come, cry to Jesus". And I'll add... Rest in Jesus