Words from the Heart for Saturday June 19th, 2021
When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other…
Ecclesiastes 7:14 (NIV)
In this year’s World Happiness Report, Canada was named the 14th happiest country in the world out of the 149 that were measured. The Great White North dropped three places from last year, and five spots from its 2019 ranking. This is the ninth World Happiness Report issued. Each year, the study considers a different aspect of happiness. The 2021 report focuses on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how people all over the world have fared.
Most of us don’t like tough times. We pray they will soon end, and we do our best to cope. This has certainly been the case through the pandemic. After the first wave we hoped that things would soon get back to normal. That was over a year ago. Somehow, we managed to get through the second wave – but the third one, with all the variants, has been overwhelmingly challenging. As followers of Jesus, how do we deal with this? The author or Ecclesiastes makes an interesting point. He writes in Ecclesiastes 7:14: “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other…” Our imperfect bodies, so susceptible to illness and disease, are not how God designed them. God is not the author of sin or disease, but He is in control of all things. For some reason, God has allowed this. Eugene Peterson helps us understand what God is doing here. He paraphrases this verse this way: “On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days so that we won’t take anything for granted.” This is good pandemic advice.
These have been words from the heart.