14I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. 15That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.
(Ecclesiastes 3:14-15 ESV)
Over the past couple of days we’ve seen that there are many experiences in life that God uses to shape us and grow us. From man’s perspective some of these are good and some are bad; some are pleasant and some are unpleasant; some are to be embraced and some are to be avoided.
God has a plan for us. It is to conform us to the image of Jesus [Romans 8:29]. God uses life experiences to mature us and change us into what He knows we can be.
God’s plan is permanent (endures forever). It does not need to be altered (nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it). God is not going to change His plan [Numbers 23:19; Psalm 119:89; Malachi 3:6]. This is not because He is stubborn and arrogant but because He knows how we are designed (He designed us, after all) and He therefore knows how to best shepherd us through life.
We can whine. We can object. We can take measures to avoid certain experiences. But God is in charge. And He loves us too much to always give us what we think we want.
The struggles we experience in life happen for one reason: we want to play God. We want to direct our own lives and do things our own way. When we do, we make a mess of things. Rather, we need to realize that there is an appropriate time for all things [Ecclesiastes 3:1-8] and embrace our experiences and learn from them.
Rather than seeking to control our own lives we need to fear God. Fearing God does not mean having an abject terror of Him. It means having reverence and honor for Him; it means having trust and confidence in Him that we are willing to do things His way because we know that He loves us and only seeks our good [Jeremiah 29:11; Lamentations 3:25; 2 Peter 3:9].
When we go through life without a healthy respect for God we will conclude that life is empty and meaningless. This is precisely what Solomon realized as he looked back on the many mistakes he made in his life.
But human beings are slow learners. We keep making the same mistakes again and again as Solomon did. That is why God has to keep repeating His lessons: that which already has been and that which is to be already has been.
God is patient with us. He knows how we are. He is willing to teach us over and over and over again. He never gets tired of it. He never gets annoyed. He never gives up on us. He just keeps sending us back through the same experiences until we (hopefully) learn and can move on.
If you’ve ever wondered why you keep going through the same stuff in your life, it could be because you haven’t yet learned the lesson God wanted to teach you. Until you do, you’ll keep going through it.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.