Every day I battle my heart’s inclination towards hoping in temporary things. As I search my thoughts and heart, I realize that I am often putting my hope and happiness in the weekend or in a vacation or in a new thing I could purchase. In hoping in these things, I set myself up for the ultimate disappointment. The most hollow, empty, and plain scary place to be in life is when you achieve your goal, finally get that car, go on the ultimate vacation, make your first million and then it’s gone, and you’re left with a deep, deep emptiness in your soul.
We have been studying Ecclesiastes in our Sunday Morning Bible Studies and the book opens up with a sober, yet true depiction of this fleeting life on earth. It says in chapter 1, ‘ 2 Smoke, nothing but smoke. [That’s what the Quester says.] There’s nothing to anything – it’s all smoke. 3 What’s there to show for a lifetime of work, a lifetime of working your fingers to the bone? 4 One generation goes its way, the next one arrives, but nothing changes – it’s business as usual for old planet earth.’
In ’31 Days to Happiness’, Dr David Jeremiah shares about an interview with Sir Edmund Hillary, who was the first man to climb Mount Everest. Hillary was asked to describe what he felt in that moment when he reached the top. He gave this reply to the interviewer, ‘there was an immediate rush of triumphal ecstasy – for a fleeting moment. It was quickly replaced by a sense of desolation. Where could he go from here? What mountains remained to be climbed?’ Dr Jeremiah sums up this idea by stating, ‘it is the vacuum of success, not the fullness of failure, that deflates in the end.’
So let us share this same attitude that’s in Psalm 33 that says, ‘22 Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone.’ It is this truth, that God is big enough to hold us and give us hope, that keeps me going. God, His promises and His future have eternal weight. Everything else I try and hope in just keeps slipping through my fingers and goes up in smoke. May our hearts rest in Him today!