‘Consider the work of God; who can make straight what he has made crooked? On the day of prosperity be joyful, and on the day of adversity consider; God has made the one as well as the other, so that mortals may not find out anything that will come after them.’
Ecclesiastes 7:13, 14
Back when God created the world, he ordained day and night, with their attending lights in the sky, to mark out days and months and seasons. We live in time, and our days are numbered. Some of those days will be shaped by joy, some by sorrow. We are born, and we die, and in between we will know prosperity and adversity, we will know what it is to flourish and what it is to struggle against the odds—indeed, often we flourish because we have had to overcome. Things are beautiful in their time, but cannot be grasped, cannot be held on to by us: our days are not in our hands, but held in God’s hands, both cherished and hidden from us, for we do not know what day will be our last.
When we try to straighten life out, we expend ourselves in a fruitless and ultimately joyless task. When we take delight in the crookedness of what God has made, in the meandering, the doubling back on ourselves to look more closely at that small detail we initially dismissed, when we do not worry about the future, certain that payment for our present happiness will be demanded by fate or karma, but instead discover that God is our companion on every step of the way, then we will know many days of joy. Then we will look back and say, I remember. Then we will look forward and say, I anticipate. Every day is God’s gift to us, not to discern a pattern, but to discern his presence. Jesus, God-with-us.
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