Try adding things up. If it made sense yesterday but not today, that’s the way this world operates.
Living in this world is like washing the dishes in one of the kitchens of the Titanic as it sinks into water. Those who are going about their work hope that their last day will come and meet them rather than rushing to go and meet it themselves.
“I looked and saw how much people were suffering on this earth. I saw the tears of those who are suffering. They don’t have anyone to comfort them. Power is on the side of those who beat them down. Those who are suffering don’t have anyone to comfort them. Then I announced that those who have already died are happier than those who are still alive. But someone who hasn’t been born yet is better off than the dead or the living. That’s because he hasn’t seen the evil things that are done on earth. I also saw that man works hard and accomplishes a lot. But he does it only because he wants what his neighbor has. That doesn’t have any meaning either. It’s like chasing the wind. A foolish person folds his hands and doesn’t work. And that destroys him. One handful with peace and quiet is better than two handfuls with hard work. Working too hard is like chasing the wind. Again I saw something on earth that didn’t mean anything. A man lived all by himself. He didn’t have any sons or brothers. His hard work never ended. But he wasn’t happy with what he had. “Who am I working so hard for?” he asked. “Why don’t I get the things I enjoy?” That doesn’t have any meaning either. In fact, it’s a very bad deal!” (Ecclesiastes 4:1-8)
Jesus’ death proves how broken and desperate this world is.
“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (Matthew 16:26)
Some of us are trying to see if we can have both: what the world wants and what God wants.
Christ guarantees eternal life, not the life of this world. Everyone is like a fly on the wall, ready to be smitten at anyone’s displeasure of us or pleasure of getting rid of us.
Christ is not a patch for this life that we have in this world. If Christ was simply the missing puzzle piece, he would say, “alright, let’s hold up this final picture that we call our life, frame it, and everything else will be trouble-free from this moment on.” That, he surely did not say and nor suggest in any way. Things are so bad that he suggested that we lose this life to never find it again. It’s like getting rid of a clunker, a bad car that kept on having problems and causing more money to be spent endlessly.
Imagine the hard work someone goes through to save up enough for their survival. House is paid off. Kids are in college. Then suddenly illnesses settle in. Money then starts going down the drain while trying to fix the body. All funds have been depleted by now. House is lost. I have heard those stories. And it’s like a moment of Job all over again. Except this time, there’s no turning back, no restoration, other than the hope of making it to the other side to meet Jesus, face to face.
I’ve often thought that if I get that “one” thing, I will be all set. So I fought my way to get it. I cherish it, praise it, treasure it, and then it’s taken away from me. Very soon, like a toddler, I find myself mourning its loss, its separation from me.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
I have zero peace in this world. Zero. At any moment, I can be disturbed by anything and anyone of this world, including myself. I’ve seen what I’ve done and what I can do. And I see no limit to it. Given the circumstances and hopelessness, any catastrophe can happen. I am as weak as a fly on the wall and as dangerous as a tsunami. My strength brings me trouble more than you and I can ever imagine.
If I get any sleep at night, it’s a gift from God. If I stay awake, it’s a gift from God. If I fall asleep for the last time, it’s a gift from God. The Son is the Father’s gift to me. The Holy Spirit is the Father’s gift to me. Until we see with Jesus face to face…
“Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do. Always be clothed in white[Christ’s righteousness], and always anoint your head with oil[the Holy Spirit]. Enjoy life with your wife[the person you’re in covenant with, Christ], whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 9:7-9)