Vanity, Vapor & Smoke

Vanity – August 8th, 2011

Here is the screen cap of Drudge this morning:

And here is a screen cap of the closing bell on Wall Street this afternoon:

These kinds of headlines and news events seem to put everyone on edge. There’s a palpable sense of hopelessness throughout a day when news like this breaks.Which is kind of ironic given the sermon at Grace Chapel on Sunday, August 7th; Pastor Doug went to Ecclesiastes 8 to discuss the sovereignty of God in ALL aspects of our lives.

Vapor – From Solomon the Sage

…I realized that if you keep your eyes open day and night without even blinking, you’ll still never figure out the meaning of what God is doing on this earth. Ecclesiastes 8:16b-17a

Our church has been going through Ecclesiastes these last few weeks and the sermons have been particularly poignant, considering the news events and times we are experiencing. This sermon, however, really struck home for me. Especially in the wake of the US credit rating being downgraded and the ensuing stock market free fall.

Ecclesiastes is often times felt to be a bit of a downer. There appears to be little “good feeling” coming from the words of Solomon. Yet, I can not help but be comforted by the fact that all that occurs in life, good, bad, ugly or otherwise, is all for God’s glory.

From our perspective, His ways may seem unjust, unreasonable, unfair or just flat out mysterious. Especially when things appear unjust, we are quick to desire justice; we desire to see the wicked brought low immediately.

Yet…

THOUGH the mills of God grind slowly,

Yet they grind exceeding small;

Though with patience he stands waiting,

With exactness grinds he all.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | Retribution

Imagine if you got exactly what you deserved, immediately after crossing God’s word. Is there any room for repentance? Is there any room for forgiveness? We all, ALL, fall short of His glory. Yet, in His wisdom, he sent His son as our redeemer and furthermore, gives us time to repent. He allows us the ability to become right with Him.

Don’t misunderstand, God does exercise His justice. But He also exercises supreme mercy and grace. This is where I find my comfort: that He provides all, and more, than we need or deserve. He has ordained that we should be given time to become right with Him. His patience with me is an example of the patience I need to have with others.

Smoke

Does a 634 point drop in the stock market hit the pocketbook?

Does the drop and the nation’s credit rating cut affect my daily life and ability to do business?

The answer to both of these questions is undoubtedly, “Yes.” However, as He has claimed me as His son, I can rest, rest, in the assurance that He will provide what I need. He has never faltered in His faithfulness to me and my family, even though my perspective, at times, has been challenged by His will for my life. However, just as I parent my boys, His parenting of me has always been for the benefit of my relationship to Him.

Our lives are but vapor (smoke) in the wind. We are alive for a short period of time and then are no longer on the face of the earth. Our lives, as summed up by Solomon and vouched for by Thomas Hobbes can be described as “nasty, brutish and short.” Solomon comes to the conclusion that it is good for us to do the work given our hands. He goes further in his conclusion by advising that we enjoy the fruits of our labors as we can because this is all we can expect, while on this planet.

634 point drop? I still have my family, I still have my friends and, importantly, I still have my faith.

How about you?

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