People everywhere are troubled by searching for meaning and significance in the things that are temporal and earthly. I see the frantic look in the eyes of those who are grasping tightly to the places, persons, or things that they are on the verge of losing. The harder they squeeze the sand of this world in their hand, the faster the sand slips through their fingers. The whirlwind of the emotions is derailed in this predicament and their hearts, in desperation, end up grasping for the wind.
As Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 2:11; “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I have toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind.” May I go further with this by saying that idolatry of the glitter of this world and its pleasures entangle people into a very dangerous snare. Those things idolized outside of the will of God place the soul on thin ice. Unbridled behaviors of sin in Vanity Fair conceive addictive behavior ultimately leading to bondage, captivity and despair. God’s case against Israel in Jeremiah is that His people “…have gone far from me, have followed idols, and have become idolaters…Neither did they say; ‘Where is the Lord?’” Jeremiah 2:5-6
It is this condition that brings a double jeopardy on the battered soul. Being shattered into the reality of their foolishness, they then return to the longing for sobriety, civility, and joy of their home-life which many have damaged immensely. The whirlwind of emotions of fear move in like a flood and the family itself becomes their idol instead of looking unto Jesus and trusting Him in the crisis. When this happens, the soul’s only answer is the grasping for the wind trying to mend, fix, and redeem all that they are losing as the consequences of their sin.
The sad thing is that the vulnerability of the tormented soul has no clue of the wiles of the devil taking advantage of the situation. Notice the word “wiles”. In the Greek it is translated “the cunning strategem”. The enemy will be on a full court press manipulating the thoughts and emotions of the soul with the ultimate aim of inciting despair, hopelessness, condemnation and, if possible, suicide.“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy.” John 10:10
Having lost meaning and/or purpose for living the distraught soul can abandon all hope.
Chuck Colson, in a seminar on The Origins of the Universe, mentions Fyodor Dostoevsky’s proposition that if one wanted to crush a person, simply give him work of a meaningless nature. For example, if a convict had to move a heap of dirt from one place to another and back again as his daily work assignment, the convict would hang himself preferring to die than to endure humility, shame and torture. The head of a German concentration camp in Hungary tried the theory when a petrochemical plant was bombed by the Allied Forces. Having no work, he used Jewish laborers to fill sand bags at one end of the camp and empty them at the other end of the camp all day. Within 2 to 3 weeks the laborers started running into the electric fences to kill themselves. They had abandoned all hope since they had no purpose or meaning in their lives.
This is the same phenomenon that we see when one’s perceived meaning and purpose is rooted in the things that are earthly and temporal. When one is on the verge of losing his relationships, family, reputation, possessions and looks to them as his only reason for living we find him grasping the wind. Unable to hold on to them, he may abandon all hope and end it all.
The Son is no less bright because men in despair do not perceive His light and love for us. The wind of this world is fleeting, but the wind of God’s love and hope is always sure. Remember to keep things in priority and “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”. Replace the pursuit of temporal things as your primary aim with the goal of seeking Christ and His life. “He who has the Son has life (with meaning and purpose), he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” I John 5:12 In light of that truth, always keep in the forefront of your circumstances this promise...“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5&6