28 blessingsTwice now in Ecclesiastes, Solomon explains how enjoyment of life is a gift from God. Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 says, “I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.” This sounds to me like an exhortation to leave the things outside of our control to God. The times of the seasons, the ups and downs of life are all in His hands. Leave them to Him and you will have the ability then to enjoy the many blessings of life that God has given us. Try to live for the gifts themselves and they lose their glimmer and everything becomes vanity of vanities. The secret of a happy, meaningful life is simply faith in God. Trust Him, he’ll take care of the details. Then you’re free to eat, drink, enjoy life and see the good in all our labor.

Paul tells us in Philippians that he “learned to be content” with his lot in life. He knew how to trust God when he had little and he knew how to trust God when he had a lot. When he said the often misquoted verse, Philippians 4:13, that he can do “all things through Christ who strengthens him” he meant he had learned how to trust God at all times. He knew, as one write put it, “It isn’t what we have, but what we enjoy that makes for a rich life, and the wise person understands that contentment is not having everything we want, but enjoying everything we have. Contentment is an elusive commodity in today’s society, yet it is one of the distinguishing marks of the Christian. What determines contentment? Does it depend on circumstances, church or country? Dissatisfaction, discouragement and division are often symptoms of discontentment in our souls. Contentment must be equated with confidence in the sovereignty of the great I AM over His creation.” Simply put contentment is trusting God to manage what to us seems unmanageable.

Two little teardrops were floating down the river of life. One teardrop asked the other, “Who are you?” “I am a teardrop from a girl who loved a man and lost him. But who are you?” The first teardrop replied, “I am a teardrop from the girl who got him.” Life is like that. We cry over the things we can’t have, but we might cry twice as hard if we had received them. Man is a fool. The grass is always greener. We always seem to want what we don’t have rather than taking pleasure in what we do have. William Randolph Hearst invested a fortune collecting art treasures from around the world. One day Mr. Hearst read the description of a valuable art item which he sent his agent abroad to find. After months of searching, the agent reported that he had finally found the treasure. To the surprise of Hearst, the priceless masterpiece was stored in none other than the warehouse of William Randolph Hearst. The multi-millionaire had been searching all over the world for a treasure he already possessed. Had he read the catalog of his treasures, he would have saved himself a lot of time and money. We should learn to practice the advice from the old hymn, “count your many blessings, count them one by one. Count your many blessings and see what God has done.”