Simple pleasures are the best! How sweet to see the pure joy on the face of this little boy! Squealing with pleasure he chases those bubbles and popping them has made his day. Somehow, as we age, it takes a bit more to distract and occupy us. With the weight of worry, the stress of responsibilities and the jaded skepticism that can creep into our thinking, we can miss out on having that glad heart.
Today’s verse teaches that God can occupy us with gladness of heart. Rather than negative reflections on the days of our lives, we can experience gladness. Rather than chasing after riches which in the end are meaningless, we can be happy and contented with simple pleasures. The art of being glad and satisfied has very little to do with what we can acquire. All our work can be toiling for the wind (verse 17) or we can be happy in our toil, enjoying its fruits as a gift from God (verse 19). It is a choice we make. The Lord can keep us away from thoughts of always wanting more and instead occupy us with a glad heart.
Which is better, to have little with a glad heart or to have lots but be frustrated with what I do not have? I find it such a comfort that God cares about the state of my heart. He does not want me occupied with stuff. He offers a light glad heart when I turn my temporal wants and desires toward what is eternal. And when I do that, I can much more easily enjoy the simple pleasures in this life!
Lord, keep my heart occupied and glad!