Tag Archives: anniversary

Proverbs 31; Ecclesiastes 1:1-3:8

Tomorrow marks the eleven-year anniversary since we settled on the house we call home. (I celebrate every year here.) I spent yesterday putting a fresh coat of paint in the kitchen. It had been almost eleven years since I painted it last. I thought back to that first time painting over the former owner’s warm yellow with a coat of white. And for some reason, my thoughts went to our house before, and the time I put in painting a mural for our first child’s nursery. How at the time, I was anticipating my first child, not knowing that that room would be the perfect room for a next woman’s young child. I wondered about a future day that all the changes we’ve made to this home will someday be viewed by a next owner–more than just a coat of paint, truly.

So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19 And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. (Ecclesiastes 2:17-19, NIV)

I read the scriptures for this post yesterday, and thought on them while I worked. Thought of what seemed like opposite perspectives: from the example of a diligent (Proverbs 31) woman, whose work not only shaped and showcased her character but was a blessing to her family and community to the neighboring scriptures of Ecclesiastes, fraught with melancholic undertones of meaningless toil and repetition.

A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. (Ecclesiastes 2:24-26, NIV)

I notice the difference again between the things we can’t touch and the things we can. To the one who pleases God, wisdom, knowledge and happiness–intangible wealth! But to the sinner, the gathering and storing up of wealth that can’t be taken beyond the grave. The underlying character of the Proverbs 31 woman … and the undeniable truth in this:

16 For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered;
    the days have already come when both have been forgotten.
Like the fool, the wise too must die! (Ecclesiastes 2:16, NIV)

Lord, I have truly enjoyed the cyclical labor of the land of this home–although it’s definitely beaten me more than I’ve subdued it! Thank you for a home that’s been a fertile ground for treasured memories, joy, companionship, celebrations, and so much more. When I celebrate this home, Lord, I celebrate you and all that you’ve done in our lives–and in that, there is great meaning to me. Thank you for seeing me, Lord, and loving me.

Courtney (66books365)

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 Jeremiah 5-7; Psalm 75; 2 Corinthians 10

Today is my 37th wedding anniversary. It would be great to get 1Corinthians 13 as the reading. Anything but Jeremiah as he was told he could not marry. Psalm 51 would be more appropriate for the amount of times I have had to say sorry. So I walk into this day with what we have and see if I can relate. 🙂

Lord, don’t Your eyes look for faithfulness?
You have struck them, but they felt no pain.
You finished them off,
but they refused to accept discipline.
They made their faces harder than rock,
and they refused to return. – Jeremiah 5:3 HCSB

This is no surprise – God is looking for truth – and faithful people. When I am called to love, I am called to love by my actions and in truth. The eyes of the Lord, of His love, favour, good will and delight are on those whose hearts lean towards His cause and interest, and are faithful to His word, and who are lovers of truth – of Jesus Himself who is truth itself – and of His Gospel, the word of truth.

Then there is the definitiveness of His love.

“I will cut off all the horns of the wicked,
but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.” – Psalm 75:10 HCSB

I cannot explain how He separates the truth from the lie – I will know one day I will see things as God sees them.

“Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture. It is the habit of agreeing in God’s judgment; hating what He hates, loving what He loves, and measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word. He who most entirely agrees with God, he is the most holy man.” – Dr. J. C. Ryle

So what do I do between now and then? I have to love Paul’s response.

Now I, Paul, make a personal appeal to you by the gentleness and graciousness of Christ—I who am humble among you in person but bold toward you when absent. – 2 Corinthians 10:1 HCSB

What does the gentleness and graciousness of Jesus look like? I think He loved righteousness, hated sin. He is just as He is loving – the cross modelled that – He died for the just and for the unjust.

This meekness and gentleness is the weapon by which Christ conquers us. It is the power of His love that subdues human hearts. He will bear with men until His very patience and gentleness shall make them ashamed of their sin. What argument can be more powerful than this? – W. Braden

Father, as You look for those to stand in the gap and be faithful, may I be found ready. I wanted to be the one You call righteous and I know I am through the blood of Jesus. May Your Spirit keep transforming me into the very likeness of Jesus. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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