11 God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil-this is the gift of God. Ecclesiastes 3:11-13
Some years ago I was visiting the Phoenix Art Museum on a day when girls and boys who were blind and visually impaired were touring an exhibit created just for them. I delighted in just seeing them that day, their curiosity and fascination as they touched and examined sculpture and pieces set up for their enjoyment.
But there was one little boy I will never forget. I watched him as he peered through thick glasses scrutinizing a large painting. With freckled nose pressed right up against the canvas he was trying to make out what he was seeing. “Poor little guy,” I thought, “he’s so close to it he can’t take it all in. It’s all too big for him to see.”
Like that little guy, you and I stand so close to the daily grandeur of what God is doing that we can’t yet take it all in. The scope and magnitude of God’s wondrous creation and redemption of you and me is too big for us to grasp! Truly we see through a glass darkly.
In today’s text, the wise Solomon assures us that “God has made everything beautiful in its time.” He also says that God has “set eternity in our hearts.” That means we were created for eternity and, with a God-like longing, to see the big picture and to know how everything fits. But Solomon concedes that this side of heaven we “cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” It’s just too big and wondrous for us to take in right now! But one day we will see the big picture, and we will understand and we will stand in amazement.
Until then, Solomon advises: Be happy and do good. Eat and drink and find satisfaction in what you do. This is God’s gift to you!
Yes, this is God’s gift to you today. So go ahead and celebrate this and every day. God’s got the big picture, and it’s beautiful!
Grace and Peace,
Weekly Bible Classes with Tim Smith
Every Wednesday through the summer
At the Franciscan Renewal Center
(Garces Room of Piper Hall)
Wednesday Noon – 1:00 P.M.
Songs for Life’s Journey: The Psalms of Ascent
Wednesday Evening 7:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
Profiles of Spiritual Maturity: The Letter of James