Finding our way in the mist
Dealing with disappointment and pursuing perspective with the book of Ecclesiastes
How was your Christmas?
Our culture sets high expectations for Christmas: family members get on famously, children are curiously well behaved, a Christmas dinner is served that Mary Berry would be proud of, all to the musical backdrop of ‘Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire’...
The reality we experience can be rather different.
For many, the joys of the Christmas season are mingled with sadness – whether that is a result of the energy needed to keep the peace between family members, the time spent planning the logistics, the sorrow of remembering how things used to be, or the disappointment of not receiving the gifts we hoped for.
How do we make sense of the optimism and pessimism, joy and sorrow that we feel?
Strangely, part of the answer is mist.
So, what is mist like?
- Mist is fleeting – it’s here for a time, and then burned away by the sun or blown away by the wind.
- Mist is unpredictable – we don’t know when it will arrive and when it will leave; it can’t be relied upon.
- Mist is uncontrollable – we can’t grab it with our hands or put it in a bottle.
How a misty New Year helps us
We’ve seen that the teacher in Ecclesiastes viewed everything as ‘mist’. How does this help us to look at both last year and the year to come with perspective?
The permanence of God
Amidst the unpredictability of the world we live in, where everything is ‘mist’ - fleeting, unpredictable and uncontrollable - God remains unchanged.
Yesterday, today and forever, God remains unchanged (Hebrews 13:8).
His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22–23).
He ever lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25).
When everything is mist and passing away, he is our rock, our fortress and our deliverer.
Suggestions for prayer
- Think back over the last year and praise God for his permanence, through good times and bad
- Commit the coming year to God, asking him to provide ‘daily bread’ for your needs
- Pray for yourself, your family and church family – for thankful, generous and contented hearts
- Pray through anything God has brought to your heart through reading this