Vanity of vanities; all is vanity … I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity … (Ecclesiastes 1:2, 14).
Life is vain when viewed apart from the Sovereign, loving God who is our Father.
I feel for those who face daily life apart from the knowledge that He is in complete control.
My days, all of them were written in Your book; the days, they were formed when there was not one of them (Psalms 139:16).
The steps of a man are ordered by the LORD (Psalms 37:23).
Think of these wonderful truths. All your days written in God’s book, formed there before any of them ever had been lived. Many live their daily lives without recognition of the stabilizing truth of the One Who “works all things after the counsel of His Own will” (Ephesians 1:11). They approach their day, and struggle through it, as the master of their own lives.
For those who live as though they were in charge of their lives, two of the hardest parts of the day are waking up in the morning and going to bed in the evening.
In the mornings, days are greeted with uncertainty as thoughts of the “What if …” trials and challenges of the day press in upon the mind and heart. There is a waking up to varying degrees of uneasiness, concern, apprehension, worry and anxiety; even at times to overwhelming fear, dread and depression. Feelings of inadequacy and uncertainty press in.
In the evenings, days are retired with the annoying “What if …” reflections of its happenings. There is second guessing, regret and disappointment. Feelings of frustration, disappointment and failure settle in; even at times shame, guilt and worthlessness.
After all, they see themselves as the lords of their own lives, the captains of their own ships and the masters of their own destiny. With this view comes but a recurring cycle of vanity.
Vanity of vanities; all is vanity … What profit has a man of all his labor which he takes under the sun? One generation passes away, and another generation comes: but the earth abides. The sun also arises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to his place where he arose … All things are full of labor; man cannot express it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing (Ecclesiastes 1:2-8).
Why is man’s life filled with such vanity; such futility, emptiness, barrenness, purposelessness and aimless frustration? Because he has been subjected so by his Creator.
For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him Who has subjected the same in hope (Romans 8:20).
“Vanity” is the lot of man “under the sun.” Yet for the believer who has been seated in the celestials, quite another view prevails! Instead of being bound to vanity, we can rise to heights of divine life.
Solomon’s perspective “under the sun” showed the vanity of the human viewpoint. Paul’s perspective, “far above all heavens” revealed true purpose found only in the divine viewpoint: “your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58).
Those of us who know Father as the great Planner and Director of our days have a completely different approach to our mornings and evenings – and the entire unfolding of our every minute of our day.
In the mornings, days can be greeted with the joy and excitement of knowing that they are His, as well as ourselves. The uncertainties of the “What if …” viewpoint are divinely transformed into the eager anticipation of seeing what God has planned for the day. We are able to awaken to the thrill of knowing that we will be witnesses of the unfolding of His detailed plan and purpose for our day. His presence presses in upon our minds. There is a waking up to peace and joy as we know that our life, with all of its daily circumstances, is firmly in His hand, and carried out by His capable direction. Our hearts are able to say, “Today we are on the great adventure of faith!”
In the evenings, when the day is over, we can rest our heads on our pillows and with surety and confidence regarding our day say, “This was the will of God.” The “What if …” reflections of its happenings are transformed into a place of peace and rest – knowing that the will of God was done, and who could have prevented it? The realization of our divine appointment is able to settle within our hearts and minds. After all, He is the Lords of our life, the Captain of our ship, the Master our destiny.
He does according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand (Daniel 4:35).
We have the joy of waking up each morning as His clay.
We have the anticipation of living each day as His workmanship.
We have the rest of laying our heads on our pillow each night as His achievement.
Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
© Bible Student’s Notebook™