“It is vain for you … to eat the bread of sorrows…”
Just a quick nugget from my devotions: This verse says it is vain to “eat the bread of sorrows.” At first glance, we might just skip over this, saying, “Yea, yea, whatever,” especially if we are not sorrowing. At a second glance, we might come up with this: it is useless to be sorrowful; but then, what do you do with Ecclesiastes 7:2?
“It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting:
for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.”
Don’t we gain something from our times of sorrow? We go to the house of mourning or the house of death or the funeral home, and we sorrow. We also see what “is the end of all men” and we are sobered and thoughtful about life.
The key in both verses is the verbs: to eat and to go. Eating is an everyday occurrence. We must eat or we become weak and die! The picture here is of a constant sorrowing. There are certainly seasons of sorrow, and they may last for a long time; however, if our sorrow turns into a live-long habit, then our lives become vain. Eating “sorrow” as a daily continual habit will change our focus off of living and onto whatever it is that has gained our focus. THAT sorrowful focus becomes our source of “nutrition,” but instead of nourishing our bodies it destroys the soul!
Dear reader, if you are in the “house of mourning,” do go there, but don’t stay there. Notice how Psalm 127:2 ends: “for so he giveth his beloved sleep.” Blessed rest! Blessed quietness! Peace in the midst of our storms of life! It’s also interesting that he finishes the psalm talking about children – life in the future! It would benefit us all to remember the rebuke of our Savior: Mark 12:27 “He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living…” Please don’t think me callous. Sorrow is real. Grief truly is a process, and its length differs from person to person; just don’t forget to start living again!
“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen”. Hebrews 13:20,21