The joy of sweetness and light
Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun. However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all. But let them remember the days of darkness, for there will be many. Everything to come is meaningless. You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless. Ecclesiastes 11:7-10
From the text, the writer of Ecclesiastes admonished the readers to celebrate the joys of life at any age. But he is also honest about the troubles that come with growing old. By the wisdom of the Spirit, he challenges us to consider principles that can help us live well; however young or old we happen to be. The admonition is to rejoice in the goodness of life. Thus he said, “Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun. So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 11:7–8). For people who have lived “many years,” it is good to find joy in the blessings of life. There are several things that we can revel like the first sight of morning sunshine, a full rainbow against dark clouds, a breeze on a warm summer’s night, and the welcoming lights of home after a long journey. As the writer encourages the readers that in life there are experiences that are sweet and bright. What a joy it is when God gives us life to live for many years, not only because we have more time to serve the Lord in sowing and reaping (see Ecclesiastes 11:1–6), but also because we have more opportunity to enjoy the goodness of life. Praise God for the goodness of life and for everything sweet you taste and everything bright you see. God is the God of light. When He declared, “Let there be light!” (Genesis 1:3), there was light and that light has been shining ever since. But we should realize that if we live for “many years,” as the writer says, “The days of darkness will be many” (Ecclesiastes 11:8). There will be times that life will taste bitter as well as sweet. Sooner or later we will be wronged, suffer loss, disappointment, and grief. The writer provides us a realistic view of life. We can be happy because of the good pleasures in life while at the same time sober about its many sorrows. This is what life actually is. When he says that we will have many dark days, he is not being pessimistic or trying to rob us of all our joy. The challenge that we face each day is to not take life for granted. By God’s grace and by faith, let us greet each new day the way the Psalmist did when he said, “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). Anticipate each new day and accept it as a fresh gift from God!