It took me sometime to understand what this verse really meant. Somehow, when I was wading through troubled waters, this verse never featured in my meditations and sharings. I would mostly dwell on the Psalms and Proverbs and other verses which spoke about God filling my cup in the presence of my enemies.
But now, after half a decade of praying and probably spiritual maturing to some extent, I have finally managed to understand a little of what Ecc 3:11 truly stands for. I am sure it will take more than a lifetime to actually understand what it stands for in totality. But yes, a lot has been made clear to me by this verse.
God, in all His wisdom, knows what is best for us. He sees the bigger picture, whereas we don’t. He knows what consequences our actions will have, while we do not. Sometimes he allows us to go a little off-track, so that we get a chance to know why we need to conform to His will, and thus renew our faith in Him. And finally, He makes everything perfect and beautiful, like He had planned all along.
Now all this might sound a little vague. But once you actually go through all of it, you would know how much sense this really makes, just like I did.
In college, I had a friend who was really dear to me, so much so that we both thought we would be spending the rest of our lives together. We did everything that young couples do – tell each other about what we felt, tell our friends about how we felt for each other, make plans for the future, make promises without thinking if we were even capable of keeping them; basically, the whole nine yards!
But there was one very important thing that we forgot to do – we forgot to tell God. Or rather, we forgot to listen to Him.
Everything seemed perfect. He seemed like just the right boy for me – he found my smile on gloomy days, knew exactly what was on my mind even before I spoke, and made me feel like the most beautiful person in the world. We shared our deepest secrets, held hands when we walked, talked for hours over the phone. It was all good.
It was all perfect until the day he was caught doing drugs with his room-mate and expelled from college.
It might seem a little silly to use that expression now, but at that point of time, my world came crashing down around me. For once, I tried to call my sister and tell her, but I realized that I didn’t have her number stored properly on my phone. All that I cared for, up till that moment was this boy. And now, I had no idea who to turn to.
It took sometime for me to realize the enormity of the situation. I couldn’t comprehend at that time that from henceforth, my life was going to be very very different from how I had imagined it to be.
I couldn’t find comfort in anything, so I turned to my Bible – a gift from the same boy which I still treasure. But at that time, I sought comfort not in the word of God, but in the fact that this was perhaps the only evidence of this boy’s presence in my life.
Of course God was watching. And He knew exactly what was in my heart. But He was kind. He was faithful. He did not give up on me.
People around me told me that everything happens for good and that God is good all the time. But I found that a little difficult to believe. Though I pretended that I did.
I thought I would never be happy again, not until I found my way back to this boy. And I started living each day only for that. Perhaps, dying each day would be a more appropriate way of putting it.
I forgot how to smile, I forgot how to share God’s wonderful presence in my life. All that I did was brood, and cry myself to sleep every single night.
And then things got worse. This boy said he did not want to be with me anymore because I was too good for him.
It felt like I had reached a point of no return. Things couldn’t get any worse than this. And I wasn’t trying to make things any better.
My initial shock turned to remorse and ultimately bitterness. It affected my relationship with my friends and more importantly with my family. And in all of this, I forgot to involve the only friend who had stood by me through it all – God.
But He was patient. He knew, sooner or later, I would come back to Him. He had chosen me with a purpose. And He knew I would have to come back to Him.
It took me many long years to realize that the boy who I thought was the perfect boy, was actually not the one for me. And mind you, even a single day is like an eon, especially if you have been haunted by depressing thoughts and suicidal tendencies every single waking hour.
It might sound weird, but God answered all my prayers, especially the ones that I said for this boy. He made him give up on substance abuse, got him to reconcile his differences with his father, and gave him academic success – God gave him all that I had asked for.
And instead of rejoicing in His goodness, all I did was crib, and cry and question why all this had to happen to me.
But God turned me around. He shook me up and renewed me. And yes, it had seemed during those days that nothing good would come out of it.
With patience He watched my every move. With gentleness He corrected my every mistake. And now, everything is beautiful because I finally have God’s peace in my heart.
It’s not that all this happened to me just so I would get hurt. There was a purpose which had to be fulfilled by our time together – and that was to bring him back to God and get him to reclaim his life from the Evil one.
And isn’t it amazing that God used me, useless that I thought I was, to turn around the life of a boy who would otherwise be lost? And what a fool I was to think that He had abandoned me and forgotten all about me!
When I look back now, I realize that he was not the one for me for one simple reason – God did not make him for me, and neither did He make me for him. But we were brought together for a purpose which He so beautifully fulfilled.
What did I gain from this whole experience? The list is endless! I have finally realized the need of speaking to God, of constantly seeking His consent in every move that I make, of remaining still and realizing that He is the most Holy of holies, and what an Awesome God He is.
The tunnel might seem endless. But with God there is only light and no darkness. Like the Psalmist said, “Sorrow may last for the night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
It is our human nature to be doubtful and to question His will, and be impatient. But whether by choice or because we have no option, when we finally give up trying to be in control, He takes the wheels and makes things beautiful. And because He is God, everything that He makes is perfect.
Praise the Lord for His unfailing faithfulness. May He never cease to make everything beautiful in His time!