“I know that nothing is better for men than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor-it is the gift of God”.(Ecclesiastes. 3:12-13)

I was considering Solomon’s words one evening a few weeks ago as I watched a full moon pass behind some great cumulous clouds to the south.  We had spent the day putting up hay in the barn loft and the hay shed in preparation for the distant winter months. We finished just in time to miss a great downpour of summer rain.  I looked up at the magnificence of the evening sky as I sat recovering from a physically taxing day of extreme hard work – I had a deep sense of gratitude and a heart of thanksgiving.  We had been harvesting for a week; cutting, raking, bailing, staking, fighting breakdowns, heat and the threat of untimely thunder storms, but in the end God’s timing had been perfect. As tired as I felt, I was deeply grateful that the hay was both dry and stored away.  I was keenly aware that not everything  in life goes as planned and that bad things do happen, but no matter how it goes, if you take time to recognize the big picture you can always find reason for thanksgiving.

Nancy and I had worked hard using whatever spare time we could find in anticipation of a productive harvest season.  The season had come, and through many difficulties and challenges the garden is producing, the bee hive is growing and the hay crop is everything we hoped it might be.

Sitting there watching the moon pass through the clouds made me realize that as Solomon said, “Nothing is better for men than to rejoice”, and there really is enjoyment and deep satisfaction in experiencing the fruits of one’s labor.  And again, as Solomon said it so well, “…it is the gift of God”.