Ecclesiastes 5:18 - Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot.
Contentment is what this verse seems to be talking about -- finding a real satisfaction in what we do with our lives. But, perhaps more important than that is realizing the days we have are given to us by God.
Contentment is elusive, isn't it? What passes for contentment is often what we think our life will be like when all our dreams come true -- when we have the car we want, the house we want, when we have the job that will give us the car we want and the house we want. When all these things materialize -- we think to ourselves -- then we'll be happy.
After all, we're not asking for much -- are we? -- just our small part in the American dream.
Oddly, when these things do come our way, sometimes they arrive unnoticed. Why? Well, because by that time we've bumped them down on our wish list, and we're off to other things. Then again, maybe this verse is offering us more than a comment on contentment, it's saying something about perspective. Maybe it's more than learning to be satisfied with one's possessions or position in life; rather, it's attaining that godly wisdom that He gives us all these things and measures the length of our lives.
Jesus addressed this very thing in Luke 12 when He tells His disciples not to worry about their lives (Luke 12:22-32). He says even as God feeds the birds, dresses the lilies, and clothes the grass of the field, which are insignificant things compared to His human creations, so will the Heavenly Father generously provide for the disciples in all their everyday needs.
Providing for the disciples' everyday needs -- yes, the Father did that. And how much more did He give through the triumphant victory of His Son Jesus over the powers of darkness!
How different our perspective might be if we truly viewed God as the Source and Fount of our lives. How improved our outlook would become by giving thanks for all He has provided us at just the right time, in just the right way. It is He who gives us our breath, who watches over us and lovingly gathers us to His side. It is He who has provided for us eternally through the salvation offered to us in His Son.
And what we gain in this life, though it may be abundant riches, is nothing compared to that!
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, teach us to be content with the lives we have, knowing that You have met our greatest need through the redemptive work of Your Son Jesus. It is in His Name we pray. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by a contributing writer from Lutheran Hour Ministries.