How Ecclesiastes 7:14 Informs Choices in Plenty & Want
In recent years I have returned to this text time and again:
In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.
Adversity has characterized the better part of my last three years. Great loss, grief, physical sufferings and more have visited my household.
The wisdom writer calls for different responses for different days. Adversity necessitates reflection. Consider is the assignment. God brings both plenty and want into our lives. He is sovereign over all. We ponder this truth that we may not find out anything that will be after us.
Puritan commentator Matthew Henry observed:
Day and night, summer and winter, are set the one over against the other, that in prosperity we may rejoice as though we rejoiced not, and in adversity may weep as though we wept not, for we may plainly see the one from the other and quickly exchange the one for the other; and it is to the end that man may find nothing after him, that he may not be at any certainty concerning future events or the continuance of the present scene, but may live in a dependence upon Providence and be ready for whatever happens. Or that man may find nothing in the work of God which he can pretend to amend.
I have done my fair share of considering of late. That has been true even most recently as well. It explains in part the absence of blog posts for more than a month.
I developed a post-op infection in my hip following my November 2016 jaw reconstruction surgery. A draining wound has plagued me ever since. Doctors finally determined the need to debride the hip on March 10. They feared the presence of bone infection that would necessitate continuous IV antibiotics for six to eight weeks.
This past Tuesday proved an occasion for rejoicing. Frankly, I prefer this assignment. Who doesn’t? My Miami surgeon gave me a good report about the incision. He removed the stitches. He does not think I have any lingering infection. I should be fine. Talk about a day of prosperity!
That, in conjunction with my marriage last Saturday to Lady Jan, has brought me into a season of great joy. I’ve not been this happy for a long time. Thanks be to God.
Still, I remain mindful that I don’t know what providence will bring in the future. Different days will require different responses.
May God give grace to rejoice or consider as assigned.