Links Daily Devotional

A Good Life

Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart. (Ecclesiastes 5:19-20, NIV)

I have always said there is another notch in everyone’s game when it comes to tournament time. We just had our member-guest at my golf club and my guest was a fellow Links Player. I want my guests to just have fun and enjoy the event, but I hate to admit that we got very competitive during the tournament. We set ourselves up for some nerve-racking situations.

Aside from the golf, the highlight of the tournament was “changing the conversation.” I was wearing my Links Player hat in the tournament. I met many new members at our club and was able to tell them about Links Players and invite them to our Links Fellowship (people come because they’re personally invited).

If you eat three meals a day, have a roof over your head and a car to drive, plus you have some dollars left over to play golf, then you are among earth’s wealthiest people.But it was another opportunity that struck me most. I sat next to a friend’s guest at dinner. We talked about golf and family. Then he started to share about his close golfing buddy who committed suicide a year ago around this same time. He said he never expected his friend would do something like this. This week brought back a sad memory. Then he confessed that at times he felt like giving up and committing suicide himself. That’s a heavy story to lay on someone you’ve just met, but I know why God put me there.

When I was 12 years old, I lost my mom to suicide. She was dealing with depression after giving birth to her fourth child. This was the late 1960s, but it remains an important part of my story.

I told this new acquaintance that I understood, and then I told him why. I share my own loss with people, because I hope it can help someone who is feeling that pain or looking to commit suicide. If God uses this part of my story to help or save someone, it’s worth being vulnerable.

The guest thanked me for sharing my story and was reminded that life is a precious gift.

In Ecclesiastes, one of my favorite books of the Bible, Solomon offered a number of reflections about life. This king, the son of David, had seen much in the world. Parts of it disillusioned him, but he also found great pleasure in what he had been given.

Solomon’s wealth far outreached ours, but we are still very blessed. If you eat three meals a day, have a roof over your head and a car to drive, plus you have some dollars left over to play golf, then you are among earth’s wealthiest people. You have a received “a good thing” from the Lord. In fact, Solomon wrote, our lives are so good that we don’t take the time to reflect on life like we should.

Reading Ecclesiastes has helped me in my life. It reminds me how good I have it. That’s an important reminder when I am tempted to despair or live in frustration and anger, which is the alternative that Solomon observed (5:17).

If you are wrestling with ongoing or recurring depression, you really should talk to a trusted friend or a pastor—someone who can point you to the wonders of God in Scripture. But if you are like many people, just going through a rough patch and feeling down, simply stopping to count your blessings and thank the One who supplies them can be the perfect remedy.

Dereck Wong
June 13, 2017
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