Scripture Reflections @ CEC by Cindy Graff (6/25/20)
“To meditate on Scripture is to allow the truth of God’s Word to move from head to heart. It is to so dwell upon a truth that it becomes part of our being.”
— Greg Oden
Scripture & Devotion: Scriptural focus: Ecclesiastes 9:11-12
…The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.
Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come:
as fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare,
so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.
My son and his bride-to-be have just decided to postpone their wedding that had been scheduled for late August. I suppose it had to happen sometime, given the current COVID-19 situation. Now they must set about the task of notifying everyone about the change. But because most venues, caterers, etc. are booked at least a year in advance, their new wedding date in September of 2021 is set for two weeks after our daughter’s intended wedding date. In the past few days, I have been spent hours on the phone with our families and friends back east, explaining the situation and letting them know that we understand that not everyone will be able to afford to make the trip and then stay for two weeks in order to attend both weddings. My kids are taking things in stride, but my heart aches for them, especially since, with the exception of two nephews, we have no relatives living west of Ohio.
When things like this happen and threaten us with discouragement, frustration, and sadness, the scriptures are an inexhaustible source of comfort and reassurance. The Bible lets us know that we are not alone among the peoples of all times and places in wondering why the world is not fair. As this passage in Ecclesiastes reminds us, “time and chance happen” to us all. Being a believer does not exempt us from undergoing painful experiences such as disappointed hopes, ill health, or loss. There are no guarantees of an easy life after becoming a Christian; just like everyone else, we will still have to deal with unexpected obstacles that we encounter along life’s road. To put it another way, when life throws us a curve ball, we need to adjust our batting stance. Learning how to do this consistently is best done by consulting our coach, listening to and applying the advice that he gives, studying the words of those who have come before us. All this we find in scripture, for collected in God’s Word is advice from the best life coaches we could ever find.
Because “no man knows when his hour will come,” the time we invest in regular reading of the scriptures can serve to prepare us well, providing us with a sense of security for periods when our life situation seems relatively stable and also for “evil times that fall unexpectedly” upon us. This is the hope we cling to; that God has promised he will never leave us or forsake us, even when life does not seem fair, even when things do not work out the way we expected or would like them to. We may do all that we can in order to escape trouble and hardship; we may strive to be “swift” or “strong” or “wise” or “wealthy” or “brilliant”, but we are still human, and these attributes are no protection against the everyday trials and tragedies of life in this world. How reassuring to know that God cares for all of us, for we all are at times one thing and at times another: swift and slow, strong and weak, wise and foolish, brilliant and not-so-smart. Praise God – he loves us anyway, and in all times, now and in those to come!
We are ever mindful of our incredible need for You, Your care, Your love, Your provision in our lives, no matter where we find ourselves. Thank You.