Focal Passage: Ecc. 3:1-8
I’m not crazy about picking
people up at the airport. I fear that I’m going to get to the airport too late
or too early, that the flight will get delayed or canceled, that I’m going to
wait at the wrong gate, that I’ll forget the flight number, or worse yet, that
I’ll forget the correct airline altogether!
My abysmal level of
confidence is fueled by one overriding fear: my friends or loved ones are going
to arrive and I won’t be there to meet them.
Qohelet takes us on a
rollercoaster in Ecclesiastes 3 as he marks out the boundaries of an
unpredictable life that is … well … strikingly predictable. There is life,
love, and laughter; there is death, hate, and mourning.
Qohelet runs the gamut by
describing everything we crave and everything we dread, bringing into sharp
focus that these events are as inexorable as the rising sun.
If we labor under the
delusion that these extremes of life will somehow never touch us, we live a
Qohelet wants us to
acknowledge life as it is, not necessarily as it should be.
Qohelet’s stark realism
might depress us, especially if we fail to see the context in which he offers
this litany of life’s limitations.
Read the remainder of
chapter 3. It is God who has set these limitations on life.
“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,” (Ecc. 3:11, NIV).
Through all the vagaries of
life, God is not surprised, nor is God absent. In every instance and in every
situation, God is there.
When in doubt, look over
Psalm 139, a virtual commentary on the all-pervasiveness of God.
“Where can I go from your
Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are
there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there,” (Ps. 139:7-8, NIV).
In truth, at one time or the other many of us secretly wonder
if God is going to be there to pick us up at the airport.
There are places in life
we’ve never been, and fear of the unknown and the inevitable can weigh heavy on
But rest assured that God
will not be taken off guard when we ascend to the peaks or sink into the
valleys of life.
We will never find ourselves
in a place where God isn’t already waiting.
Right on time, God will be
there to pick us up.