Right there, towards the end of the book, in chapter 12, I came across this prose:
Before the difficult days come,
And the years draw near when you say,
"I have no pleasure in them":
While the sun and the light,
The moon and the stars,
Are not darkened,
And the clouds do not return after the rain;
In the day when the keepers of the house tremble,
And the strong men bow down;
When the grinders cease because they are few,
And those that look through the windows grow dim;
When the almond tree blossoms,
The grasshopper is a burden,
And desire fails...
Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed,
or the golden bowl is broken,
or the pitcher shattered at the fountain,
or the wheel broken at the well.
Then the dust will return to the earth as it was,
And the spirit will return to God Who gave it.
Many researchers have described a silver cord as an elastic cord that when stretched continuously it becomes thinner and thinner, until it cuts. Therefore, they have used that phrase to denote the period during dying where the physical man becomes disconnected from the spirit man.
Oh, this may seem so profound, but it is a very simple ideology: that God alone is Sovereign and He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, and the First and the Last. Even before time began He was. He was the One who constructed the entire foundations of our universe as we know it, yet we do not know the boundaries of the universe. His wisdom can never be paralleled or fathomed. Therefore, it was the conclusion of the author of the book of Ecclesiastes, as is also my conclusion today, that even in our YOUTH, we must remember our Creator. Thinking you have one life to live and so you must do everything doable is only a vain thought, for life is like a vapor slowly seeping to the top of an hour-glass. Many have left this world in their youth, and sadly some of them did not get a chance to do what they were created to do. To achieve their goals. To touch even one life.
But YOU have this chance. You're young, vibrant, and beautiful. You're alive and way better than a dead man. YOU of course had the chance to breathe the new oxygen of this morning's dawn. YOU have been given the chance to become born-again and embrace your Father's loving arms. YOU have been given the chance to live again, free from the sorrows and pains of yesterday.
Embrace it today...before the silver cord gets loosed...
**The picture above is Venus from Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus."**
She ran down the uncountable stairs in high speed, with the long tail of her white and pink flowing gown trailing behind her as she ran with the wind. She was dressed to kill, wearing the most expensive chiffon fabric, sewn to fit her shape perfectly and done by the family tailor. Her hair was packed in a simple alluring French bun with a scarf the color of her gown, and her ear-rings and jewelry had matching silver designs. Her make-up was light, sassy, and very feminine, with the finishing touch of pink blush on her cheeks. She was ready for the best event of the year and she was ready to grab her award. But she stopped running when she got to the 54th step, as she realized she had forgotten her most vital element: her clutch purse.
A lot of women cannot do without their hand-bags or clutch purses, at least we need a constant supply of lip-gloss when the lips get dry. Funny enough, today my analogy is that of a clutch purse representing "hope" in the life of child of God. We can't do without hope. Hope is the vital clutch purse that will complete the whole outfit. Hope is that element that pushes us forward to reach our destinies. With hope the anthem is "forward ever, backwards never." Without hope there is really nothing to look forward to.
If it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
And that its tender shoots will not cease.
Though its root may grow old in the earth,
And its stump may die in the ground,
Yet at the scent of water it will bud
And bring forth branches like a plant."
Psalm 31:24: "Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD."
And so I have come to a very important conclusion: there is no life without hope. It is hope that will push you and I forward. If God told you something about yourself in the middle of the night, you've got to hold to to it. Hold on as tight as you hold on to your clutch purse, especially when it has a small handle. See, God is not a man that He should lie. He can never lie to you because He watches over every word He speaks to make sure that those words are accomplished. Everything that you are "sure" He has spoken He must do, unless you are not sure. If you are not sure then you need to ask Him again so that you can be sure. But whatever He has spoken He must do. Sometimes we forget those things that God has spoken concerning us for so many reasons. It could be that He spoke something to you a century ago, and gosh it has been so long! But it's time to remind ourselves of those exact words, because He will be faithful to perform it.
As much as I didn't want to leave my beautiful exotic island, Victoria Island, I finally let go of paradise and entered the plane, athough reluctantly. I'm finally back and I missed my blog a little too much. At first sight, America seemed as though in the moments I wasn't in it, it was being peeled off its old bark and replaced with a brand new one. I literally smelled the fresh leaves of the trees as the car sped out of the airport and down the familiar highway. But even before the plane landed I knew that somehow the message for myself and many of you out there was that we can be soaked in the type of oil that can replenish our bodies even for the entire length of this year of 2008. This is my personal confidence.
There was a prophet in Israel, Elijah, who according to the instruction from God was drinking his water from a brook in a place called Cherith which flows into the river Jordan (1 Kings 17). So the story was that after a while this brook got dried up and its water stopped flowing. Of course you can guess that Elijah no longer had any source of water supply. Again God called Elijah and told him to go to another place called Zarephath, and that in this place he would meet a widow who would supply him with food and water. Little did Elijah know that the woman who God was sending him to was busy looking for sticks so that she could cook her and her son's "last meal." When he got there and asked for a meal and water, he was probably surprised when the woman told him that she was about to cook their last meal because she only had a "handful" of flour and only very little oil left in a jar. In that moment God spoke to the widow through Elijah, and Elijah found himself speaking these exact words: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’
For reasons I do not understand yet, I just feel God is speaking these same words again today. This year, I'm going to remember these same words, that my jar of oil will not run dry. No, it can't run dry. See, it doesn't matter what comes my way. Imagine a jar of oil sitting pretty on a shelf in a house, tightly sealed too. If a storm comes upon that house and the jar falls down, the oil will still not run dry because of the seal. If a thief comes in the middle of the night, he may try to steal my jar of oil but because of the tight seal, he must return it to the shelf where the oil belongs. I will be the only one to drink or utilize the oil in the preparation of my meals because God gave it specifically to me as a gift. Various trials may come, but my oil will not run dry in this year. This is how I am going to start my year. Like Elijah spoke those words to that woman, I am also speaking these words to you (and it will also be unto you if you believe...if you have only a mustard seed size of faith then the oil of God that you are keeping in your jar will also not run dry this year).
To me, this oil represents everything that will sustain my life: the powerful word of God (that can cut through the soul and the spirit) ~ knowledge of the word, understanding of the word, and daily application of the word. It may seem very sweet to say, but hard to practice, but by God's grace we can do this. Every single thing for living a good life is inside the word: equipments for rising up when we fall, keys for opening the doors of success, hammers for building the foundations of righteousness, chisels for building our homes on the solid foundation, proverbs for living well with family and friends, water for drinking when we are dry and thirsty, and food to eat when we are hungry, not even forgetting the jokes to crack when we are bored (e.g. Songs of Solomon). Everything is in the word. The word of God is way more than just a novel or an interesting book. It is the power of a son and daughter of God. With the word of God, you will find yourself sliding through mountain slopes that were hard to climb before (the oil will obviously provide the ease).
I AM completely immersed and soaked in oil that will not run dry in 2008...and I pray that this same confidence will be radiated to anyone reading this who can just trust God for it. It doesn't matter who you think you have been in the past, what the color of your skin is, or what your profession may or may not be. You just have to receive God's oil, like the widow of Zarephath who trusted what the prophet told her, and lo and behold her little oil in a jar just did not run dry!
Are you READY?