Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Meaningless Striving

“I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children…through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life…By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food…” Gen 3:17, 19. What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless. A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat and find enjoyment?” Eccl 2:22-25.

It all began when sin replaced perfection through free will. Because God could not tolerate sin, the fall of man put into motion a curse which we all live under. For women it is the pain of childbirth, and for men it is the burden of work until death brings them home. For me personally, I realize the heavy burden in considering the lives of my children. The physical births were easy in comparison with the mental and emotional toil motherhood has placed upon me over the years. I see the same burden in my husband as he toils and strives in a business to which God led him. We have both suffered many sleepless nights and so many of our efforts in both arenas have been meaningless. Once our dependency became more on God and less on ourselves, we were able to experience more peace and satisfaction in our souls, apart from all of our striving.

Ecclesiastes tells us that we will have these burdens all the days of our lives, but we can be encouraged that God is the giver of all things, and in Him we must lay down our heavy burdens. For each time we choose to lean on Him and give Him full access to our lives, He provides us with His peace, strength and satisfaction. Apart from seeking God, trusting Him, and surrendering our lives we will live under the heavy burdens of the original curses of mankind.

God never intended on us abiding in our own strength in our heavy burdens, but leaning into Him as the original Creator of all good and perfect things from Him. ‘Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.’ James 1:17.

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