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Ralph's Daily Devotional - Friday, April 13

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 is probably the most quoted passage within the book.  Here Solomon sees time not as a cyclical, endless procession of meaningless events, but rather as containing both unique and diverse situations requiring specific and appropriate responses.  Not all of life is sad, nor is it one happy celebration.  There is both sadness and joy, and so there is crying as well as laughter.  Extremism is to be avoided.

People who tend to always be jovial and gregarious are just as out of touch with reality as those who see everything in life from one gloomy lens.  God is also such a person.  God is not, as Greek stoics believed, a static, neutral and impersonal entity.  He Himself has feelings, and as such responds appropriately to His creation.  When we sin or find ourselves in tragedy, God does not laugh as the Buddha depicts.  When Lazarus died, Jesus wept.

When we demonstrate true love, God rejoices.  Paul tells us to "rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep."  As believers, we need to stay balanced and real.  We are emotional beings, but we are not to simply be that and nothing else.  This applies to all of life, including times of war as well as peace.  There are times when we must enter into a place of difficulty and trial, and there is a reason for that as well if we are willing to accept that at the time.

To be continually in a state of angry denial while seeking to constantly wish away all of the times that we find difficult is to be not only out of touch with ourselves and reality, but to be out of touch with the God who Himself accepts and enters into time experiencing our joys and struggles.

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