A friend in Jesus writes. “I have been thinking a lot about this blog entry on Ecclesiastes 9:5-10. Since I read it. I’m confused about how to deal with my (many) addictions, my perfectionism, and my inability to trust a Heavenly Father after my earthly father sexually abused me. If, in the end, it DOESN’T MATTER, then why keep fighting to get better? I still struggle every single day with all of the above.
I just don’t know how to respond now. Should I Keep battling my “demons” or just give up and say that it doesn’t matter in the end?”
Doesn’t matter?—Of course it matters. Everything matters, even a sparrow falling from a tree. The words of Ecclesiastes are tools to help me get rid of vexation of spirit. These truths are not intended to cause me to not “give a dam”. They do not imply that because I will move off the scene and will be forgotten by people on this earth, that what I do doesn’t matter; but rather that I should lighten up– rest in Grace. God loves me to be passionate, passionately hunger for righteousness, passionately hate sin and all its affects. He just wants passion without vexation.
Everything matters to God and he is on the scene and will still be on the scene after I pass. He will remember my obedience and make my feeble efforts matter and project their impact into the future and use them as an excuse to pile up treasures in heaven for me. The confusion is that we humans take the fact that it matters very much, and justify being tense and vexing our spirits because after all being tense must be helpful somehow.
It is evident that being uptight and taking undue responsibility causes me to be less creative and have less stamina and energy and to make impulsive rash mistakes. The more important the matter is: the more I need to lighten up! I need to limit my efforts to, yielding my body members servants, according to a growing picture of God’s ways in action and according to my understanding of his will.
Ecclesiastes says this is my gift from God and my limited portion in the tasks of my life: enjoy WHAT I DO have , enjoy WHO I DO have, do what I CAN DO with all my might, and enjoy being myself and all the wonder of God’s creativity revealed in me.
So what is God’s part in any endeavor? Calling me, preparing me to be the right one for the task, empowering me, delivering the results, making up the difference between my feeble efforts and what the situation calls for, making my efforts worthwhile , and rewarding me for obeying.
Our brother shares–“Not that fighting to get better has really helped all that much”—See he is making my point, ie. fighting doesn’t work. I am not to fight to get better but rather to fight to get out of the way of the Holy Spirit moment by moment and let THE ALREADY BETTER ONE live through me. Paul says:Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now liveintheflesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. The battle is the Lord’s but it is true that I have to resist the devil then the Lord meets me in my feeble obedience and strengthens me and helps me. In a sword fight, if all I do is stand and parry the devil’s thrusts; I will burn out and be wounded over and over. The devil attacks our friend with “Because of what the Lord let your father do to you, you are worthless, damaged, why did he let this happen, can you trust him now if he let that happen then etc. etc.”
It is important to thrust back with scripture and prayer and song. When attacked, have prayer targets such as your pastor to respond to the devil with, ” just for that I’m going to pray for my pastor and God’s power will strengthen him and weaken your kingdom.” Also sing songs or better yet write them and sing them to the Lord and against the attacking one. Martin Luther was frequently depressed. You could borrow his song A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD he wrote that and sang it to the Lord and at the devil and found relief from a month long attack of depression.