No matter how completely abandoned we become in our pursuit of this world, we always find ourselves with a desire for something more. We long for a scent more floral than the one we receive from the freshest rose; for a melody richer than is heard from any mouth; for a taste more grand than the finest delicacies; for a love more dear than a woman’s embrace; for a justice greater than the strongest shackles; for dreams more vivid than the vastness of the universe; for a purpose deeper than the ocean floor. This is so that we would not find our satisfaction in this life; that we would have nothing in our hearts but that which truly fills us. Let us look up to the King. Let us rush forth from our darkness into His wonderful light. Let us enter into the Kingdom of Christ and find that it has been intended as our home all along.
Since I first read the book of Ecclesiastes, I have loved it. If you asked me to explain why, I would have found that difficult until recently. Taken at face value, the whole book is troublesome to consume and be encouraged. Solomon, the great king of Israel and son of David, is writing towards the end of his life about everything he experienced during his days. What he observes is tough to swallow.
He had more power than we could ever dream of, more wealth than we will ever know, better food than we will taste, finer wine than we will drink, more land than we could own, more women than we could embrace, and more wisdom than any other man. This is a stacked resumé. If anyone is to tell us whether or not it’s worth it, he is our man. We think often in terms of, “If I could just get _____ I would be happy.” Anything can be filled in there – salary, job, husband, wife, child, home, etc. Solomon had it all, yet here is what he concludes:
“Then I considered the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” (2:11).
Even the greatest of his pursuits left him empty. There was not enough to fill him in this world. What is beneath the sun does not have the ability to satisfy what our hearts desire most and for some, that is a devastating reality. But the book of Ecclesiastes is not meant to leave us hopeless. It is meant to get our eyes off of what is beneath the sun so that we might fix our gaze on what is beyond the sun. It is meant to weaken whatever idolatry exists within our hearts so that the only resident there is Christ. He is the one who fills and satisfies. Apart from Him, we will always hunger and thirst for more because what we see in this world is only a shadow of what is to come.
But in knowing Christ, we can enjoy what we have been given because one day we will enjoy it all in its fullest with Him. When He is the joy of our hearts, all of life is given the truest sense of enjoyment. Our hope is not here, beneath the sun. Our hope is beyond the sun and will one day be our home.
“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”