Eternity On My Mind
A daily devotion for February 7th
9 What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
The Searcher discovered three things. First, everything is appropriate and helpful to us, even those things that appear to be negative as well as positive. These are not curses and obstacles; they are God's blessings, deliberately provided by Him. Even our enemies are a blessing.
Love your enemies, Jesus said, because they are valuable to you (Matthew 5:44). They do something for you that you desperately need. Our problem is that we have such a shallow concept of things, so we want everything to be smooth and pleasant. More than that, we want to be in charge, we want to limit the term of hurt or pain. But God will not allow us to take His place and be in charge.
The second thing the Searcher learned in his search is that there is a quality about life, about humanity, that can never be explained by the rationale of evolution. No animal is restless and dissatisfied when its physical needs have been met. Observe a well-fed dog sleeping before the fire on a cold day. It is with its family, enjoying itself, not worried about anything. A human in that same position will soon feel a sense of restlessness. There is something beyond, something more he or she is crying out for. This endless search for an answer beyond what we can feel or sense in our physical and emotional needs is what is called here
eternity in man's heart. St. Augustine said,
Thou has made us for thyself, and our hearts are restless until they learn to rest in Thee. People are the only worshipping animals. What makes them different cannot be explained by evolutionary procedure. They are different because they long for the face of God. C.S. Lewis said,
Our Heavenly Father has provided many delightful inns for us along our journey, but he takes great care to see that we do not mistake any of them for home. There is a longing for home, there is a call deep in the human spirit for more than life can provide. This itch that we cannot scratch is part of God's plan.
The third thing that the Searcher learned is that mystery yet remains. We are growing in our knowledge, but we discover that the more we know, the more we realize we do not know. The increase of knowledge only increases the depth of wonder and delight. In the sovereign wisdom of God, we cannot solve all mysteries. As the apostle Paul put it,
We see but a poor reflection as in a mirror (1 Corinthians 13:12); we are looking forward to the day when we shall see face to face.
We cannot know all the answers to all the conundrums and enigmas of life. That is why the exhortation of Scripture is always that we must trust the revelation of the Father's wisdom in areas we cannot understand. Jesus said over and over that the life of faith is like that of a child. Little children in their father's arms are unaware of many things that their father has learned. But, resting in their father's arms, they are quite content to let those enigmas unfold as they grow, trusting in the wisdom of their father. That is the life of faith, and that is what we are to do in our experience.
Thank You, Lord that You have placed eternity in my heart. Nothing can satisfy my deepest longings but You. Teach me to be content with simply resting in Your arms.
Life Application: What is it that clearly differentiates us humans from animals? Are we living in denial of that basic element, yet wondering why life seems meaningless?
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