Reflection: 26 August


Ecclesiastes 11:5-8: “Just as you do not know how the breath comes to the bones in the mother’s womb, so you do not know the work of God, who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hands be idle; for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good. Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun. Even those who live for many years should rejoice in them all; yet let them remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.”
The modern world has given us an explosion in knowledge unlike anything the human race has ever seen. We’ve cured diseases, split atoms, put a man on the moon, and put supercomputers in our pockets. Yet for all of our knowledge and accomplishments, so much of the world is still a mystery and truly unknown.
Mystery can be both deeply painful and profoundly glorious. How is it that a single virus can cripple our global society in a matter of weeks? How is it that we still struggle to accept the dignity and value of every human being? Yet at the same time, how is it that God looks upon us in our fragility and sickness and still shines his light upon us? How can he see our perpetual capacity for hatred and evil and choose to love and sustain our every movement?
The author of Ecclesiastes was not blind to the vanity and darkness that surrounded them. They knew life itself was a mixture of both light and darkness, joy and sorrow, life and death. Yet I love the way they embrace this truth and sit with the weight of reality. All is a gift, and if you are given many years, “rejoice in them all.” Rejoice! This is the command given to every follower of Jesus, regardless of situation or circumstance. Our days may be peaceful and calm, yet our days may be filled with injustice, sorrow, and grief. More accurately, our days are always a combination of all of the above.
The days of darkness will be many, yet joy is found when we are able to see the light in the midst of the shadows. Though we may not fully understand the times we find ourselves in, we are still invited to seek the good and pursue the light of Christ daily. Or, to speak more faithfully, you and I must be transformed by the grace of God so that we are made able to see the light that exists in the midst of the darkness.
Growth in the life of God requires that we embrace our limitations. God is God, we are not. As such, we are liberated from the burden of having to know the answer to every question, from having the solution to every problem. Instead, we cultivate attentiveness as we walk through the shadowlands, for “Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.”


How can you cultivate attentiveness to God and a greater awareness that he is at work, right now shining his light into the darkness of this world?


Father, give us eyes of faith to see the clarity of your light, even here in the midst of great darkness. Amen.
(byTripp Prince- edited NW)

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