v. 1- 10
"Cast your bread upon the waters,
for after many days you will find it again.
Give portions to seven, yes to eight,
for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.
If clouds are full of water,
they pour rain upon the earth.
Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
in the place where it falls, there will it lie,
Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
As you do not know the path of the wind,
or how the body is formed in a mother's womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
the Maker of all things.
Sow your seed in the morning,
and at evening let not your hands be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
whether this or that,
or whether both will do equally well.
Light is sweet,
and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.
However many years a man may live,
let him enjoy them all.
But let him remember the days of darkness,
for they will be many.
Everything to come is meaningless.
Be happy, young man, while you are young,
and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart
and whatever your eyes see,
but know that for all these things
God will bring you to judgment.
So then banish anxiety from your heart
and cast off the troubles of your body,
for youth and vigor are meaningless."
Today is one of those days I don't really feel like blogging, but I know that those are the days I really need to write. Allergies are making my head feel heavy, but my heart is happy and content. So hopefully there will be something that you think is useful for your life today.
We are to be generous to others, there is no need to be selfish. We should give freely the things God has put in our care. There are so many in this world with an unlimited amount of cash that is used just on them. The bible talks about giving 10% of our income back to God. Does He need our money? No, He has no need for it personally. We are to give back so that we will obey Him and our hearts will not grow in greed. If 10% was to be given under the law then how much more generous should we be? If you have never given money then I hope you will start. You can give locally or globally, the choice is yours. Why talk about this? This is the ONE THING in the bible that I can recall that God says to test Him on so this is a big deal. This really shows how dedicated you are to the Kingdom, going that extra step to obey God. I can tell you that many people stop right here and do not go any further. There are many people without much of an income and yet they still give their money, talent or time to help others. The dollar amount is not the important thing, its your ability to freely give, this shows your heart and soul. Cooking a meal for a friend who lost a loved one, paying for some one's meal behind you in the drive-thru or spending time with a child who has no one to love them. There are many ways to give in addition to cash. I know there are tons of excuses why not to give. Which one will you give God when He asks why you did not have compassion on those less fortunate? Ouch, I know, but true all the same. Giving money to someone in need or a worthy cause is a beautiful expression of God's love.
The verse about planting and reaping not only apply to farming, but also our spiritual life. Are you waiting for the perfect time to sit down and read the bible? You may be among chaos and can still find the time. I know having little ones at home makes it difficult, but you can pray doing the dishes, driving in the car, or during a child's nap. There will be interruptions when we try and take the time to sit with God. I know many women who use checklists. If they do not have certain things done around the house then they will not make the time to read the bible or pray. God does not care if your house is spotless, He cares about your heart. He deserves our time above everything else. If spending time with God is at the top of your list then other things will fall into place or you will find that they don't matter as much as you thought they did.
If we think we will go to church when we feel accepted or when we find that perfect church then no one would ever go. Church is full of sinners, that is where we belong, we are to be with other imperfect people. I know there are many churches that are like high school, cliché's everywhere, judging others and excluding them for their lives. It's ok to church shop, going to different ones until you get a good feel for the sermons. If you are getting fed from Scripture at church then maybe some of those "cardboard Christians" (you know the kind that look put together, but from the side are just held up with a small piece of cardboard, hollow inside) will start to want to be like you. Instead of trying to fit into their groups they will see there is something different about you and want to be around you. If they hate you then they may be jealous and critical. Who wants friends like that anyway?
God is beyond us! For how far we have come we only know a little of Him. We are to enjoy our life, but not forget dark days. If we do this, then we will be prepared for things down the road. Also, remembering dark days helps us to be thankful that God has seen us through. Solomon is giving a warning that if we choose sin then there will be judgment. It makes it harder to want to continue to sin when we see what is at stake.