“There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.” (Ecclesiastes 2:24–26 ESV)
At times, there is a fleeting fulfillment and pleasure that comes with hard work (Ecclesiastes 2:10 & 24) – this is a grace. The capacity to enjoy any created thing (work, food, drink, sex) is a true gift from God. Outside of Eden, everything should be thorns and thistles, but God’s grace restrains utter chaos and maintains some semblance of order and beauty. Though creation groans (Romans 8:23) for the day of ultimate redemption, hints of creation’s previous glory can, at times, be found and enjoyed because of God’s benevolence to humanity. Our ability to enjoy this is only due to His goodness and grace. All that we have that is good – beauty, intelligence, natural proclivities & acumens, physical strength or ability, wisdom & insight, the homes we were brought up in or the educations we received that placed us into gainful employment – are ALL gifts that we have received from the Almighty (1 Corinthians 4:7, James 1:17). God owes no man anything and we will indeed agree with Solomon that much of this world is a meaningless chasing after the wind. A sober awareness of the brokenness of this world in which we are owed nothing and yet still smell periodic whiffs of goodness & beauty is at the root of how we glorify God in all things (1 Corinthians 10:31). These aromas should make us long for our eternal home. We are owed nothing, but are given some good things and the ability to enjoy them should cause our souls to be stirred in worship for a God who is so kind to us.