I really hate to start a blog with that word, but there it is ... struggle. The wrestling with the events, relationships, times and choices that make up daily life is often just that ... a struggle. It is interesting that two books of what is called wisdom literature in Scripture (the wisdom books are Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs) are devoted to the struggles we all face in life. In fact about 75% of Psalms are about wrestling with life and with a God that is beyond our understanding. But Job (probably the oldest book in Scripture) and Ecclesiastes (written by a king who was in over his head in life) are both devoted to life's struggles. Job, who is not as patient as we often give him credit for, gets so exasperated with his friends and with God that he demands an audience with the Almighty. God grants Job the audience and Job learns that what God knows and does is unfathomable. Job finally says "I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me (Job 42:3 NLT)."
Solomon's struggles are different. He probably has few people he can trust. He is politically and socially at the top of the food chain, yet he realizes that politics, kingship and social obligations are not things that bring him happiness. They are burdens and struggles. He cries out (often) that the things he knows, the things he has and the perks of being king are part of a life that he views as meaningless. Some of us can identify with this ... we have more than we need but we find that we need things that are elusive, fleeting, distant and ethereal. Solomon calls them "a chasing after the wind."
Both of these examples call us to stop and think about what is really good, what is really wise, what will make us fulfilled as people and what will bring us to a place we can (as Paul said) be content in every circumstance. I heard something yesterday that I think might be wise in the midst of life's struggles. A woman said that her mother, when she was hurting or when she was down or when she faced a struggle she could not figure out how to tackle, would hug her and tell her that everything would be alright. The Psalmists seem to come to this conclusion. Job comes to this conclusion and God somehow blesses Job in the midst of all of his losses. And Solomon concludes that life was a gift from God and that somehow God, if we fear and trust Him, will make things alright.
Maybe this blog today makes little sense in the confusion and storms of life. But, if you can let God give you a big ole hug and tell you that mother's words ... "It will all work out alright, because I am God and I have plans for you, work for you to do and a life to live. It will be alright." I guess that is all for now ... Randy.