Day 3 – Eternity in my heart and the “also-s” of faith
“Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart…” (Ecc. 3:11)
What a beautiful phrase! Today we are going to break this tiny piece of Scripture into three intricate parts. It’s just too beautiful not to spend some time on.
First, let’s read this section of Scripture to get a fuller understanding. Feel free to read all of Ecclesiastes 3 again if you have your Bible out. Below I will offer Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 to focus in on:
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.”
Find our theme segment for the day and highlight it in your Bible.
“Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart…”
Now, to focus in –
#1 – Also…
This small adverb stuck out to me. The Bible is a beautifully written book, God-breathed, but also literally just beautiful to behold. The words in the Bible are each there for a reason and the Old Testament especially, holds so much poetic grace. “Also” is a connecting word. God did such and such and also He has done this. “Also” in my head, is an overflowing cup word. The Hebrew word for also here is “gam” and in addition to our translation of also, could be translated as “moreover.” More and over. More than that. Over and above what He has already done. Overflowing my cup.
God takes things in our life and makes them beautiful. Also, moreover, on top of that…He has given us eternity. He has set it in our hearts. What “also-s” in life has God given you in this season? When you look around you, what says to you, “My cup overflows…” (Psalm 23:5)? Even if this is a difficult season, we all have something or someone, little things that give us glimpses of a God who is caring for us. It was in our darkest season that I began to recognize the also-s, the little things that God gave in the form of people and tiny treasures of grace. These small also-s kept me going, and some days, was what gave me the strength to get out of bed and face the challenge of the new day.
#2 – He has put eternity in…
God gave us eternity, as a free gift through Jesus Christ. This is the way we often think of eternity. Ecclesiastes introduces another way to consider eternity for all people, not just believers of Christ Jesus. This insight is huge for our understanding of those around us who do not know the grace of God.
God puts eternity in. Grace in Christ is a gift. Eternity, while certainly a gift, is a gift like our arms and legs and eyes, or even our heart, are gifts from God. We were created with eternity, set inside of us by a loving God. It is part of who we are. It is a compass guiding us to Him. When people talk about the God-sized hole inside each of us, we can call that eternity.
We are searching, seeking, moving toward eternity. Many of us simply do not have the language for this though. The next time you talk to an unbeliever, ask them what they are searching for, what they feel like they are heading toward in their life. When we are searching for a man to love us, the perfect job, parenting skills to keep our children on a good path, good memories, shared passions, ambitions fulfilled, all of it, we are really looking for eternity.That’s a good thing! Each of these things are also gifts from God to point us to eternity. But on top of just wanting those things and seeking, we all want them to matter, we want to have significance, to know it was all worthwhile. When we speak of eternity, as Christians, we know that we have eternal life now. However, this also goes for the unbeliever sitting across from you. We all have eternity. They have significance that is eternal. Help them find the One their soul is searching for, that their internal eternalcompass is continuously trying to lead them to define and understand and exist in relationship with.
The darker side of this is that we are all accountable. There is life beyond this life on earth. God wants, each and every person around me to identify that Eternity with Him is incomparable to an eternity spent with the Evil One. How can I help the person sitting across from me to understand that also?
And oh goodness! We have a God that not only puts things in, but He puts them in our hearts. This just strikes me as extraordinarily beautiful. My heart, which is drawn to any number of things, was made for seeking Him.
Please, friend, if you are an unbeliever, let Him embrace you now. He’s been waiting for this.
#3 – “…he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”
We were not meant to know or understand it all. God was. If my thoughts above are #abitmuch and your mind is struggling to grasp it. First, blame it on the author, because as an imperfect person talking about an absolutely perfect God, sometimes I have trouble spitting it all out in an easily understood manner. Then, rest in this phrase: We weren’t meant to get it all. We were intended to seek Him, but not necessarily to always understand Him or what He is doing in our lives. He is holier than that. He does not fit in my box, in my small little mind, even in my heart. He is wider and bigger and outside of little ol’ me, even as He chooses me for His residence. Mind blowing, sisters. That’s our God.
1 Corinthians 13:12 says it so well. I return to this verse again and again. It’s a good one for highlighting.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
This verse is followed by a famous one and we let’s not forget that they are connected.
1 Corinthians 13:13 –
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
The greatest work God does in and through us is love, not knowledge, not even understanding. He brought us to this place and this time to love. To love Him, to love His people, to love who He made us to be. When we look at our past, our present, and our eternity, know that the only thing that will have mattered is that we were loved, and that we were given the chance to love in return. Eternity, set in our hearts.
Praise Him today for His love, His eternal lens, and His overflowing abundance.
What things or people in your life currently remind you that your cup overflows?
When has the eternal lens been most helpful for you?
What do you see people searching for, when they are really searching for God?