The Secret Is Rest

Why do you work?  Why do you get up every morning (or evening, depending on your situation) and go somewhere to earn a living?  Why do you labor for someone else for 30-40 years to earn a paycheck?  Solomon said that it is because of “one person’s envy of another” (Ecclesiastes 4:4, NIV).  In other words, it is because we want what others possess.  Why do we have to have the latest and greatest and the new and improved?  It is because your relative or neighbor or co-worker has it!  Obviously there are things we need to purchase regularly (deodorant is a great example) in order to function in our daily lives.  What about the wants versus the needs?  It is when we break our backs for the wants that Solomon looks at us and says:

Better one handful with tranquility
    than two handfuls with toil
    and chasing after the wind.​ – Ecclesiastes 4:6, (NIV)​

It is better, he says, to live a life of peace and tranquility than to stress ourselves out in so many ways just to have more and to keep up with the Joneses.
God rested on the seventh day from all of His labors.  In our day and age, we believe that we cannot rest for even a moment or else someone will get ahead of us.  We believe this lie.  So we work overtime.  We skip vacations.  We work on vacation (guilty as charged) and we never do what God commanded His people to do and that is rest.  Oh how we need rest!  We need to rest our weary bodies and our weary minds.  We need to rest emotionally and spiritually.  We need to sit and be still and know our God.  Busyness only leads to more busyness and weariness.  Jesus says to come to Him when we are weary and burdened.  The secret to a happy and contented life is not to labor more, but to rest in the Lord.  He will take care of you and your needs.  He can handle the stresses of this life.  He can provide for you and your family.  This is not meant to be an excuse for laziness, but rather a call to rest.  For working our fingers to the bone, according to Solomon, is as useless as chasing the wind.

Ecclesiastes 4:4-6 (NIV)

And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Fools fold their hands
    and ruin themselves.
Better one handful with tranquility
    than two handfuls with toil
    and chasing after the wind.


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