Ecc 7:8 "The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit."
Finished. That is a good word. I know that when you work on a project, the beginning is tough. You have to gather all of your materials, you have to do all of your research, you have to do the planning and the thinking and the wondering if it will work. As you work through it and start to see that things are taking shape, you get excited. Then when it is finished, you have a real sense of accomplishment.
I experience this all the time. When I am at work writing a brief, I hate the beginning. I dislike even thinking about having to get it done, but when it is finished, I am relieved. In fact, I even re-read some of my stuff and enjoy it. Or when I am working in the yard planting and replanting. It takes work and planning but when it is done, we get to enjoy the fruit of our labor. Or when I am involved in practicing with the worship team at church the practice is many times rough, but the end result, by God's grace, usually leads people into a meaningful time of worship.
No wonder Solomon said that the end of a thing is better than its beginning. He was right. But then he said this: "The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit." Why did he put these two thoughts together? Is there a connection?
The end of a thing – patient in spirit; The beginning of a thing – proud in spirit. Maybe I am just reading too much into this, but doesn't coming to the end of something take patience and persistence and steadfastness? Patience pays off when it comes to finishing. "Therefore be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." I Cor 15:58 Let's face it, sometimes ministry can be tiring. Sometimes the work can be exhausting. But God wants us to persist, to be patient, to wait for the "end of a thing". Then we will see that His hand was at work. Then we will see that the many beginnings, the work, the effort, the patience paid off. Heaven is going to be an amazing place. The results of all of the stuff that we do here on earth will be revealed. I don't have a clue who this blog maybe touching, but I see that it goes to Russia, and Germany, and India, and Canada and all over the place. I only hope and pray that the end of a thing will be amazing when I get to heaven. The same is true for anything that I do. May I do it with eternity, "the end of a thing" in mind.
And pride and beginnings? Maybe that is where we think that we are all that. We think: "I can do this. I can handle this. No sweat." When in reality, we really can't handle anything. The only way that God allows us to accomplish anything of eternal value is by His grace with patience and humility.
Finished. Jesus said it: "It is finished." Someday we will all see the end result of His work for us and the end result of our work for Him. Let me stay focused on that day.