I hated all my toil in which I had toiled under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to those who come after me —and who knows whether they will be wise or foolish? Yet they will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity.
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I have a friend who is a silver-lining kind of guy. No matter how difficult the circumstances, he can pull out a positive thing. This is no pie-in-the-sky, fluffy, disconnected-from-reality cock-eyed optimism. The more this guy has grown in wisdom and strength, the more he can look realistically and unflinchingly into the dark abyss. He doesn't look away and pretend it isn't really there. He sees it for what it is. He names it and feels the awful, gravitational pull that would suck us all into a black hole of despair. And he still finds light and speaks of what he has seen. Sometimes, like the writer of Ecclesiastes, you have to stare into the darkness. That is the power of the cross of Christ. It is violence, injustice, hatred, and death. It is love and life. To grow in grace is looking fearlessly at the darkness and mining for silver.
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Holy God, make us bold to confront the darkness and trust in you. Amen.