ODB: How To Enjoy Things

November 28, 2013


God, who has given so much to us, gives one more thing—a grateful heart. —Herbert 

READ: Ecclesiastes 5:13-20 

As for every man . . . to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God. —Ecclesiastes 5:19 

In his book Daring To Draw Near, Dr. John White writes that several years earlier God had made it possible for him to acquire a lovely home with many luxuries. His feelings about the house fluctuated dramatically.

When he reminded himself that it was a gracious gift from God, he felt joy and thanksgiving. But when he would begin to compare it with those of his friends, he would feel proud because he had such a fine house and his joy would evaporate. His home would actually become a burden. All he could see were the many hedges and trees to care for and the endless odd jobs to do. White said, “While vanity clouds my eyes and burdens my heart, gratitude clears my vision and lightens my load.”

The writer of Ecclesiastes saw God at every turn in the enjoyment of material things. The power to eat the fruits of our labors and even the strength to receive and rejoice in them is from Him (5:18-19).

From beginning to end, all of life is a continuous gift-giving by God. We deserve nothing. He owes us nothing. Yet He gives us everything. If we remember this, we need not feel selfish or guilty. Whatever material blessings we have are a gift from our gracious God.

— Dennis J. De Haan

Ten thousand thousand precious gifts
My daily thanks employ;
Nor is the least a cheerful heart,
That tastes those gifts with joy. —Addison

Source: Our Daily Bread