A cheerful heart sees good where others can’t. Energy, more than metabolism, just rises up out of nowhere. The power of a good mood is such a rush. It is fun seeing people on FaceBook swing the world toward sunshine when something goes right. The status of a cheerful person is strength to the weak.
But what happens when pressure mounts and the sun is eclipsed by the moon? There is a ring of power to rival the one discarded by nine fingered Frodo:
The voice of Solomon does it throughout the book of Ecclesiastes. Swinging wildly from joy to despair he observes life under the sun. Yes, God has placed eternity in our hearts, but we can’t fathom how it all works. When our mood is good, God is enough. When our mood turns, the problem of evil, the invisibility of God, the goofiness of the brethren are almost too much to bear. Life under the sun is hard; hard on our mood which in turn is hard on our faith.
Ecclesiastes 2:15-23 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity. (16) For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool! (17) So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind. (18) I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, (19) and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. (20) So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, (21) because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. (22) What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? (23) For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.
Lord, be gracious to us; in dark days be our light!