By Brooke Luby
You don’t have to go far to experience the affects of depression. Even if it’s not something we would consider our selves prone to, It’s all around us, whether it’s the severely medicated type, or just an occasional bad day. Our world is broken, and our souls are broken. Not everything is lollipops and flowers.
But, is there such a thing as “good depression”?
Is it healthy to have a certain level of meaninglessness in life? I am beginning to think so. I have been reading Ecclesiastes, again. It is such a fascinating book to me. Maybe it feeds something in my melancholy, always-hoping-for-rain writer’s side.
“Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless,” the author says. The word is “hebel’ and means emptiness, vanity, something unsatisfactory.
I heard somewhere that, though many people think it was Solomon writing, that really it’s some unknown author personifying the King. Whoever it is, I wonder if maybe they wrote it on a dark rainy night, or at least maybe it was raining in their soul. I wonder if maybe it is a poor man, who sees the meaninglessness of wealth, or a rich man who has ceased to put his hope in wealth. I can understand where he is coming from. It’s a long journey for every human being to find the simple truth “money doesn’t bring happiness” to be true. It’s a common message in modern movies and classic novels, but it is still so hard to grasp. As I read further I began to see that the message in Ecclesiastes is deeper then just a lesson in wealth and poverty. Like all the books that surrounds it, it contains the type and picture of the new covenant- the truth that wisdom mean accepting Grace. The author shares that he has discovered that the righteous and the evil have the same fate.
Often, in this broken world, someone who spends their whole life doing good things, can still be met with tragedy. On the same note, someone who could spend their days living for themselves and causing others pain, may have a long prosperous life. It’s the age old question, that unanswered causes so many to turn from God, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
I wonder if this is God’s introduction of grace- no matter if you are good or bad, you can’t make it. You need a savior. You cannot strive to perfection enough to make your life happy.
When Jesus died on the cross, when the new covenant came to pass, the ground was leveled- the mountains were made flat and the valleys were filled in. In other words, those who are “the greatest sinners” have just as much access as those who are “a picture of perfection.” It completely negated what we do, therefore creating complete dependence on Jesus as our savior and offering us complete freedom to live life with Him. This is the good news, anything else is a mockery.
Towards the end of the book, the author of Ecclesiastes concludes that since the same fate happens to both the righteous and unrighteous, (or really we are all just unrighteous!) we may as well find joy in living life- in work and feasting and being with the people we love. There is no sense in striving, it is empty to try to toil and gain your way towards anything: wealth, status, power and righteousness.
In Chapter 9, verse 7, he states, “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil.” There it is! The new covenant! Live in freedom; enjoy life, because God favors what you do!
The word favor is “Ratah,” which literally means, “To satisfy a debt.” The white robe and the oil is a picture of the bride of Christ and the Holy Sprit. Now, we can do all things because the Holy Spirit will guide us. We are free being completely dependent on Jesus.
Striving to climb a little higher is meaningless.
Striving to be good enough to be closer to Him is meaningless.
The debt has been satisfied.
We are robed in spotless white.
Oil drips down our heads.
God is here, now.
Brooke is a full time missionary with Youth With A Mission and wanna-be writer. She loves to write things that challenge the status quo of Christian culture, that give people a glimpse of the adventure it is to follow Christ.