Lord, help me to trust You with every aspect of my life and ministry.
Read Ecclesiastes 2:17–26
Toil Is Meaningless
17 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. 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. 21 For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. 22 What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? 23 All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.
24 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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThink about what it means to be a child of God. Thank the Lord that this is your identity.
When I left Romania after years as a missionary, it was very hard to let go of ministries I had poured my life into and to leave people I had discipled to be led by others. I saw areas where my work would end or go in a direction I didn’t like. I also saw areas of work that would prosper and grow so that others would be praised for their success. Nearing the end of his life, the Teacher here thinks about his legacy. He is frustrated that either his life’s work will be undermined by his successor, or his successor will get the recognition for what he has achieved (18,19).
We can’t control the future of the things we have invested in. Even if we try, the most we can do is impact the generation immediately following. We simply cannot envisage what might become of our small contribution to the world. And it is not our responsibility to do so. God alone will be there throughout all generations.
On leaving Romania, I had to learn to trust God with his own work; to let go of ambition and honor in this world and to seek recognition from him alone.
What are you holding onto that God may be asking you to relinquish? Why are you afraid to let go? Trust God with it now.
Lord, help me to trust You in times of uncertainty and change.