8 All this monotony is tiresome; no one can bear to describe it: The eye is never satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear ever content with hearing. 9 What exists now is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing truly new on earth. 10 Is there anything about which someone can say, “Look at this! It is new!”? It was already done long ago, before our time.
If this world is all we have to live for, perhaps Solomon’s insight would ring true, but not so for the believer.
To a parent changing diapers and attending to screaming kids with snotty noses, seemingly mundane chores become a holy work, changing our character and molding us into His image. Selfishness is washed away as we are absorbed in the well being of others.
To a farmer striving to yield a bountiful harvest yet confronted with the brutal realities of drought or a flood, reliance on self dissipates and a dependence on the God over all becomes paramount.
To the family head, struggling to make ends meet, waiting for the next paycheck or provision to come and overcome by bill collectors, faith begins to blossom in the midst of hardship. Insight is formed, revealing that provision was not to be chased after in the first place. God is our Provider.
To church leaders dealing with complaining sheep, their work becomes a holy endeavor as God changes their heart and perspective toward the people God calls them to minister to. They discover that this calling is for God’s glory and not their own, not about them at all. Offenses are dismissed and concern is raised for the offended one, instead.
To the sick who wonder if God cares at all, He shows the need for spiritual healing and uses the affliction to draw us nearer. He becomes our comfort in the midst of pain and humbles us to depend on Him.
To the wounded, broken heart, shattered by another’s sin – God sees you. Even this is not wasted in His hands. Instead of death, if we hope and wait on Him, He will turn our greatest sorrow into a thing of beauty. Suddenly our eyes are opened to realize that a human being was never supposed to be our joy or our life. Hoping in fallible humans is idolatry and temporary, but hoping in our living, loving God is eternal.
Everything is vanity apart from God, but everything done in Him has a purpose. All of the wearisome repetitiveness and burdens of this life are working something great for those who will see more deeply. Thank God that we serve a God where nothing is meaningless and nothing is wasted. He uses it all.
Solomon was the wisest man and yet he chose women who ultimately turned his heart from God and cursed the next generation. Big consequences for someone who had allowed his blessings to become his snare. Boredom replaced gratitude and awe over all that God had provided.
Mundanity has its purpose, after all. Satisfaction was never meant to be fulfilled completely apart from Christ. In the endless pursuit of meaning and happiness in a world that could never deliver that quest, we finally end up at His feet, where we were always meant to be.
Lord, all of the tasks, burdens, joys and sorrows are ultimately serving Your purpose in our lives and in this world. Give us Your eyes and understanding and the wisdom to walk and chase after You, not the things of this world that always disappoint us. Thank You for being our sovereign God who wastes nothing.