“Mooomm! Do I really have to make my bed?”
“Yes, Sweetheart. Go ahead and get it done.”
“But Mooomm! It’ll just get messed up again when I go to bed tonight!”
I wonder how many times in the history of mankind that particular conversation has played out? I know I asked the same question myself growing up. And my own daughters have, as well.
I mean, really, what IS the point?
Ecclesiastes is all about Solomon asking this question, “What is the point?” But not about only one aspect of life. Solomon lost sight of the point of even living life at all!
Solomon searched everywhere to find the point to living, the meaning of life. He thought, “What’s the point? We’re all just going to die in the end, anyway.”
For the living know that they shall die: Ecclesiastes 9:5
And in his despair, Solomon thought death would be preferable to an empty and meaningless existence.
Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive. Ecclesiastes 4:2
Have you ever felt that way? So discouraged you’d rather just give up on life?
I’ve been there a time or two. Probably most of us have, if we’re honest.
And I would venture to say that every human being has either wondered, or even asked aloud…
Why Does Life Have To Be So Hard?
There are many reasons life is hard. One is that the consequences of sin, ours and others’, make life hard at times.
Another is that we don’t always make the wisest choice, even when neither option is necessarily sinful.
For instance, we may choose to purchase a second vehicle, taking on a second car payment. We know it will make our finances tight, but feel that we really need another car. But then an unexpected illness adds medical bills on top of an already stretched budget…and hard times begin!
But I think the best answer for why life is hard is found in Ecclesiastes 1:13—
And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
What? God wants our lives to be hard?At first, it may seem that God is being cruel to have, on purpose, “given” “this sore travail” of confusion about life and the hunt for meaning in it all.
But this actually is God’s blessing!
That we not be able to be satisfied and find meaning in this life “under the sun”…and ignore Him.
For in Him alone is meaning and fulfillment…and salvation! Therefore, God has placed that need for Himself inside each of us—that we would know that a very important Something is missing in our lives—Him.
The God-shaped Hole Within
If you’ve grown up in church, you’ve probably heard someone refer to the God-shaped hole within each of us. This phrase is a condensed version of the quote by Blaise Pascal, the seventeenth century French mathematician and physicist, which says—
What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words, by God Himself.Blaise Pascal
Pascal is speaking of a desire within each of us that remains unsatisfied by everything this world offers.
And this seeming futility of life “under the sun” actually comes from God. Again, not because He is cruel, but because He is merciful. It is evidence of His great love for us!
God has made the way of our salvation and built within each of us…
A “knowing” that He is there…so that we are without excuse before Him…if we ignore Him and the revelation of Himself to us.
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Romans 1:19-20
And a desire, a restlessness, that drives us to keep searching until we finally find rest in Him, in knowing Him as our Saviour and Lord.
You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.St. Augustine
So, why does life have to be so hard? Simply put, because hard times serve God’s good purposes…
1. To lead us to seek after and find the Lord!
That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: Acts 17:27
2. To keep us, His daughters, recognizing our need for Him.
Whenever I find myself in the midst of hard times feeling dissatisfied and restless, I am reminded that I have strayed from my God Who alone is my peace and rest and fulfillment in this life! I have allowed something else…worry, fear, ambition, my own desires, stress, etc…to fill the space within me meant for God’s Spirit alone.
In those times I am reminded to once again turn to God in complete surrender and seek to know Him and follow Him. For that is the only way to peace, contentment, fulfillment, and meaning in life.
Praise God that He loves us enough to allow the hard times in our lives! Because He wants His best for us!
Drawing nigh to Him,
LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.
Is life hard for you right now? Please share in the comments so that we may pray for you.
And know that God wants to help you through it. Seek Him. Are you His child? Then ask Him to search your heart and reveal anything that shouldn’t be there. Once you surrender that to Him, His Spirit will fill you up with His peace and joy and strength to weather the hard time. God loves you and will deliver you! In His time. Trust Him!