How to Make the Most of the Brevity of Life
This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot.
Solomon focuses here on “the few days of life God has given.” He encourages us to make the most of it.
Have you ever said of someone, “He (She) just can’t be satisfied.” They complain your work isn’t good enough. The house isn’t clean enough. The meal isn’t as good as expected.
We call these dissatisfied individuals — complainers. They just can’t be pleased.
Now, I would like to say Christians don’t fall into the category of griping whiners. But we both know that wouldn’t be true. Ever attended a church business meeting?
To make the most of the brevity of life, see it as a gift from God.
A healthy view of life is to see it for what it is, a gift from God. Our vocations, opportunities, loved ones, homes, and the food on our tables come from the Lord. All of it given for our benefit and intended for good.
You’re familiar with the account from Exodus where God supplied His people with manna from heaven for their sustenance and survival. Initially, the recipients of this miraculous blessing were elated with the Lord’s gift. But in time, they complained there wasn’t more variety. What happened? They focused on the provision instead of the Provider.
Before we think badly of those ungrateful followers of God, we should take inventory of how we approach the daily grind. Have you ever walked into your closet and complained you have nothing to wear? The rack is jam-packed with clothes, but you’ve just grown tired of the same old thing. Or have you ever complained, “Meatloaf again?” Our complaints are based on mundane repetition; not on needs but wants. We haven’t learned to be satisfied with what we have. Satisfaction can only be attained by something new, better, or different.
To make the most of the brevity of life, learn to be satisfied with God’s provision.
God wants us to be satisfied with what he’s given us, but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t want us to have more or better. I believe, however, He wants us to keep those additional wants and needs within our means. We’re to be good stewards of His blessings.
To make the most of the brevity of life, make the most of what you have.
When more isn’t possible, make the most of what you have. You do that by keeping your eyes on your heavenly Provider and trusting in His continued providence. Lingering on what you don’t have will make you miserable.
The Apostle Paul addressed this matter when he said:
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:12
I’m impressed by Solomon’s reference to “the few days of life.” When you’re a child, a forty-year-old adult seems ancient, and the road ahead seems long and distant. But when you’re pushing seventy and looking back, you view time differently. It’s all too brief. Fifty years ago seems like yesterday. Indeed life is but a “few days.”
Just as God gives you STUFF, He gives time. So, be satisfied with the hand you have been dealt because it comes from the hand of God.
I’ve found a simple verse of scripture to be helpful in starting each day with the proper perspective. The old King James version seems to be the best rendering.
This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
To make the most of the brevity of life, rejoice in the Lord and His provision.
Start everyday rejoicing in the Lord and His provision. And never forget this great truth: “… God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
Life is brief. Make the most of it.
For more on this topic, check out this article: Take Inventory of Your Rich Inheritance in Christ
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 4 (October – December) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.