Ecclesiastes 7:8 – Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
The old adage, “Good things come to those who wait” might have found its inspiration from Solomon’s reflections in this passage. Rare is the person who can find contentment in waiting; although he is not content, he is certainly wise! One key to wisely enduring to the end of anything is to “begin with the end in mind.” Begin each new endeavor with the desired result in mind. Ask yourself if you have achieved the God-honoring outcome you have desired and if that outcome is still possible. If not, what remains the best possible outcome? If you have not achieved that outcome then keep pressing forward. This works even in unexpected situations – if you formulate a God-honoring outcome before taking action.
Let me be clear: Because we walk with the living and sovereign God, the Lord is allowed and able to change our plans as he sees fit. However, keep in mind that the context of this verse is achieving better days ahead through the right application of wisdom.
Quick illustration: for a church potluck I once made sticky buns from scratch. These were the kind topped with rich honey-maple goo and fresh pecans over a buttery, sugary, soft brioche bun. Everyone loved the sticky buns and wanted the recipe – even the Pastor’s wife! What a compliment! They were not so excited to learn that the brioche took an hour of attentive preparation, overnight storage, an early morning of rolling dough, and two-and-a-half hours of proofing. They just didn’t have the patience…but they sure wanted the outcome.
The end is better than the beginning. Ask the Lord to help you remain patient, wise, and content!