Last night, a girl referred to her current state of mind as hazy. “Hazy,” I thought, I can relate to that. Familiar realities seem to be obscured by the “new normal.” Oddly enough, right when the fog begins to lift another comes. Someone else gets shot, cities are burning down, and people are spewing hatred.
My joy has waned and confusion has set in as I watch the fissures within the body of Christ become craters. I have looked on as people who I consider friends and ministry partners dig their heels in despite my grief. People are weary in well-doing, tired of praying, and not seeking the Lord before they speak.
And the weight of it all… it’s almost too much to bear. When will the church open? What is the church’s response to racism? How can we create a task force to address police reform? How do we solve a centuries-old problem with a couple of zoom meetings?
Hazy… that’s about right.
But then I come to Ecclesiastes; what some would consider a depressing book has particularly uplifted me during this time. It has grounded me and provided perspective. And I pray these words do the same for you now.
“What exists now is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done;
there is nothing truly new on earth.
Is there anything about which someone can say, “Look at this! It is new”?
It was already done long ago, before our time.
No one remembers the former events,
nor will anyone remember the events that are yet to happen;
they will not be remembered by the future generations.” Ecclesiastes 1:9-11
At first glance, this passage seems like salt in the wound versus a healing balm. However, when humanity seems to be dreaming up fresh abominations every day and society is falling apart at the seams, it is oddly comforting to know that there is truly nothing new under the sun. It is a reminder that bad stuff has happened, and will continue to happen until the Lord’s return. From the fall of Rome, the Nazi occupation, to the Stock Market Crash of 1929 the world has ebbed and flowed between stability and instability, weathering the evils of man, and cradling the immense capacity of human joy.
This passage is not advocating for fatalism, rather it is pointing us to an ancient truth that God truly is and was, and is to come. (Revelation 1:8) When the world is not stable, he is. When society is foggy, God restores clarity and when justice is hazy, he gets the last word.
“I saw something else on earth:
In the place of justice, there was wickedness,
and in the place of fairness, there was wickedness.
I thought to myself, “God will judge both the righteous and the wicked;
for there is an appropriate time for every activity,
and there is a time of judgment for every deed.” Ecclesiastes 3:16-17
I pray that the haze lifts from your heart and soul as you read the eternal word of God. The turbulence of our reality is disheartening but it isn’t new and we serve a God who transcends time and space providing a constant line of hope throughout every age.