23 Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity. 24 There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God. Ecclesiastes 2:23–24 (NAS)
There was a saying used in the past when exasperated, “Good grief!” Charlie Brown made it famous. Truth be known, the exhausting toil of one’s life, if dwelt upon, can be daunting, debilitating and demoralizing, especially if the fruits of one’s toil are not commensurate with the efforts exerted.
It’s easy to get caught up in life’s rat race. Too many would freely admit that their job is painful and grevious. For many the stress does not ease with the sound of the quitting bell, but is lugged home, causing restless rather than restful sleep.
But it is possible to live above this relentless cycle of life, and it comes by way of attitude and perspective. Solomon tells us that our toil is part and parcel of the futility of life, but it, along with eating and drinking (and a wife), is nonetheless a reward in here under the sun. Go figure.
From God’s hand comes the capacity to experience reward and joy in what we do, when we see our jobs—whatever they may be or how hard—as His good gift. In fact, he says there’s nothing better than to consider your toil worthwhile.
It is, actually, “good grief” you yearn for.