I am really grateful for my wife. I am grateful for her for many reasons, but one is that she is really good at noticing little beautiful things. We go on walks together, and on these walks I am constantly surprised at how many pretty blossoms, cute animals, and interesting architectural details she is able to spot. I probably would never have noticed these sights on my own, but when she shares with me her appreciation of what’s around her, I find that I am able to enjoy what I otherwise would have missed.
In light of our Sunday investigation of Ecclesiastes 6:1-12, it is good for us to stop and give thanks not only the good gifts God has given us but even for the ability to enjoy those good gifts. Truly, we are so reliant on God to be able to enjoy anything to any degree. Consider just some of what is needed to enjoy the sight of a simple flower: 1) the flower must exist, grow, and blossom; 2) you must exist and be healthy enough to go outside; 3) the weather must be fair enough to encourage you to actually go outside; 4) you need eyesight and attention good enough to see the flower; 5) you need the time and material provision that enables you to pause work and view the flower; 6) you need a mental disposition that actually appreciates the visual beauty of flowers; 7) and you need the spiritual disposition that is willing to adore God above but also through flowers. Consider that none of these necessary components for genuine enjoyment comes from ourselves! Neither are any of them deserved! We should realize, then, just how wholly blessed we are before God in being able just to appreciate a flower.
What should make us even more thankful is the realization that not everyone has the same ability to enjoy that we might. Flowers don’t grow everywhere, some people are not healthy enough to view flowers, the weather is not always agreeable for flower viewing, some people don’t have eyesight at all, some people cannot afford to take time to view flowers, some people simply don’t see what is so beautiful about flowers, and some people have never heard or accepted the wisdom of God that counsels us not to search for ultimate gain in this world but take time to enjoy God’s simple gifts. No one can blame God for a lack of good things or the lack of ability to enjoy them. God gives however his loving, wise, and holy heart determines. Rather, if we have any good things and any ability to enjoy, we should give God worship.
Ecclesiastes 2:25, For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?
Questions to Consider:
1. Ultimately, who causes a person to listen to God’s counsel in Ecclesiastes not to pursue vanity but to reverently enjoy life?
2. Is it possible for unbelievers also to enjoy God’s good gifts in life? If so, what are the differences in enjoyment?
3. Do you demonstrate thankfulness to God both for his good gifts and for your ability to enjoy them?