Resisting the Tendency to Do Nothing for Fear of the Future!
Ecclesiastes 11:3-4, “If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves on the earth, and if a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie. He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.”
During these shaky, scary, uncertain times, we will do well to heed the many millennia old counsel of Solomon by resisting the tendency to do nothing for fear of the future.
Clouds, rain, fallen trees, etc., are things that happen all the time in places that we are not even aware of. So perhaps Solomon meant that certain things are inevitable. Into every life all types of clouds will come, trees will fall, and rain will pour. There is no guarantee that irrespective of how diligent your efforts are, bad things won't happen to you. God never said that everything good comes your way. He says that He is able to take the good and the bad and mix them together and make everything work ultimately for your good (Rom. 8:28), but He does not say everything is good within itself.
The wiseman, Solomon, tells us in our text to not focus all our attention upon the potential for rain, clouds, and fallen trees and in so doing become so worried about them that we wind up paralyzed as to our investments and involvements in life.
Sometimes, despite our wisdom, our answers, our adroitness in planning, our best efforts, things still do not work out. Therefore, do not focus on the inevitable, the unpredictable, and the what-if-events of life.
In Ecclesiastes 11:4, Solomon warns: "He who observes the wind will not sow, he who regards the clouds will not reap." One paraphrase says, “If you wait until the wind and the weather are just right, you will never plant anything and never harvest anything.” The Living Bible’s paraphrase of this verse says, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.”
Solomon is warning us not to wait for ideal conditions before you start to invest in life, and in the lives of others.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life, don’t waste it by living in the “what ifs” outlook. Take the risk, get involved in it. Indecision and delay are the parents of failure. The point of this verse is, if you are ever going to invest in someone's life, if you are ever going to build your business and develop marketable skills, if you are ever going to go all out for God, don't wait until a windless, cloudless day.
Like the Fallen Tree, Grow Where Your Lot in Life has Fallen!
Ecclesiastes 11:3b, “…and if a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.”
We should greet each new day with this attitude in our hearts and these words on our lips: "This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." I have no promise of tomorrow. There is nothing that I can do about the fruit of yesterday's harvest, but I can begin to sow now for the future harvest. Praise God I am alive, and I am going to invest in today and glorify God by enjoying Him in everything that I do.
There’s an old hymn that says: “Sowing in the morning; sowing seeds of kindness; sowing in the noontime and the dewy evening." If you keep sowing in all seasons and at all times, either you, or future generations, will come rejoicing bringing in the sheaves. In the confidence of this truth, be boldly resisting the tendency to do nothing for fear of the unknown.
Be Courageously Trusting in God's Sovereignty in the Face of Life's Mystery!
Ecclesiastes 11:5, “As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.”
This verse admonishes us to not let baffling events stop us. Do not get bogged down by what you don't know. Have you come to realize that you and I do not know 99.999% of all there is to know? How dare we get bogged down by the mysterious and baffling things that we do not know. This means no more remorseful "if only." “If only the election had turned out differently”; “if only the global elitists were not ruining our country”; “if only I had of had better parents”; “if only I had married the right person”; “if only I had the right job”. Respond to the opportunities that God gives you.
Be courageously trusting the living God and in those places and events when you cannot trace His hand, trust His heart.
Rest Confidently in Knowing that the Prospects of the Future are as Bright as the Promises of God!
Ecclesiastes 11:6, “In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.”
We should resolve to sow more good seed than we have ever sown before, to distribute more truth than ever before, to invest in more lives than ever before, to avail ourselves of every opportunity to sow seed. To sow seeds of the printed word, the spoken word, the electronic word, seeds of kindness, seeds of life-giving words, and seeds of life-imparting persons, etc..
Be careful to avoid conveying the idea to your children that they missed the best of times.
Alex Craves wrote, “Don’t feel sorry for or fear for your kids because the world they are going to grow up in is not what it used to be. God created them and called them for the exact moment in time that they’re in. Their life wasn’t a coincidence or an accident.
Raise them up to know the power they walk in as children of God. Train them up in the authority of His Word.
Teach them to walk in faith knowing that God is in control. Teach them to get their worth from Him and to weigh everything against the Word of God!
Empower them to know they can change the world.
Don’t teach them to be fearful and disheartened by the state of the world but hopeful that they can do something about it. Every person in all of history has been placed in the time that they were in because of God’s sovereign plan.
He knew Daniel could handle the lion’s den. He knew David could handle Goliath. He knew Esther could handle Haman. He knew Peter could handle persecution. He knows that your child can handle whatever challenge they face in their life. He created them specifically for it! Don’t be scared for your children but be honored that God chose YOU to parent or grandparent the generation that is facing the biggest challenges of our lifetime.
Rise to the challenge. Raise Daniels, Davids, Esthers ,and Peters!
God isn’t scratching His head wondering what He’s going to do with this mess of a world.
He has an army He’s raising up to drive back the darkness and make Him known all over the earth.
Don’t let your fear steal the greatness God placed in them. I know it’s hard to imagine them as anything besides our sweet little babies, and we just want to protect them from anything that could ever be hard on them, but they were born for such a time as this.”