Ecclesiastes is written by King Solomon near the end of his life. You will remember that Solomon asked God in a dream for wisdom and he was reputed to be the wisest and wealthiest of men. Kings and Queens from all over the known world came to ask his advice. Solomon walked with God early in his reign but became enamored by his wealth, power and all that he could have of the world. He strayed from God's path; he tasted of every pleasure that the world could offer and he led a life of dissipation. Perhaps the biggest example of foolishness in his life is the record of his marital affairs; according to scripture he had 700 wives and another 300 concubines.
In experiencing all of the world's he found it to be, "meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless." Ecclesiastes 1:2 It was and it is. Have you ever looked at a pile Easter candy and been tempted by the succulent taste of Chocolate. You take the biggest, best looking Easter Bunny and bit off an ear only to be disappointed because it is hollow! Hollow is what Solomon discovered in the pleasures of the world. There might have been a temporary high, but it was followed by disappointment. All that the world offers is temporary. When our joy is dependent upon the world's pleasures, we will always find disappointment at the rainbows' end.
We must remember that as beautiful as God's creation is, it has been marred by the fall of man. The Prince of this world is the deciever and until the Day of Judgement all of creation suffers because of his influence. If we seek to find ultimate meaning in our work, our wealth, our status, even in relationships; we will ultimately be disappointed. All of these things are terminal outside of the meaning that God intends for them. It is only when these things that are commited to God's purpose rather than our purpose that they can be used for eternal good. Nothing really matters outside of the eternal purpose of God.
God does have a plan. We can resist that plan and find disappointment, frustration and sorrow or we can embrace that plan and rest confidently in the knowledge that God in his wisdom will winnow and sort and all will finally be as it should be. Imagine how much easier life will be when we can walk in that knowledge.....God, who loves and cares for us, is in charge.
there is a time and a place for everything. there is a cycle which we all will endure. there is birth and death. there is planting and harvesting, their is building and tearing down. There is weeping and laughing. Their is keeping and giving away. There is love and hate, peace and war. Everything is made beautiful in his (God's) time. (partial paraphrase Ecclesiastes 3:1-11) Can you wait? Can you trust? Can you find your joy in the knowledge that God is on our side? Only then can you find meaning and purpose.