For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NRSV)
NOTE: This article was originally posted on my “Weekly Word-Picture” Facebook post on October 13, 2019.
We are extremely blessed to live in this area of the world where we experience the changing of the four seasons of the year: winter, spring, summer, and fall. So, as the attached picture shows, it won’t be long now when our children and grandchildren will run outside to frolic in the piles of fallen leaves. This will be followed by making snow angels in the snow, picking blossoming flowers in the spring, and running under the sprinklers in the hot summer sun.
Just as we are blessed to experience the changing seasons of the year, so too we are blessed that “for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” The first eight verses of Ecclesiastes 3 are long but well worth reading. As you reflect on them, I believe you will come to the same conclusion I did: It’s God’s intention to have all of creation experience various seasons of life. This, by the way, includes you!
Just think how dreary life would be if there was only one continuous season. especially if it’s the season of winter, for example. (Which, I know many people must endure in certain areas of the world.) More importantly, how would we be able to bear up if all our days were only ones of dying, killing, weeping, mourning, losing, tearing, hating, or fighting? The fact is, I don’t think we would be able to live under such gloomy, hopeless conditions. So, thank the Lord that we don’t have to, because God created a natural cycle of existence in all of life. You guessed it . . . this includes you!
The next time you are going through a seemingly unending winter season in your life – a time that is filled with a vicious cycle of dying (in spirit), depression, weeping, mourning, tearing, silence, hatred, and war – God ensures that the seasons will change . . . and for the better. Remember, that for every dreary, painful, heart-wrenching season you go through, God is eagerly waiting to offer you a new season of peace, joy, love, and hope.
Take to heart God’s assurance that you soon will experience a time of rebirth, growth, healing, encouragement, laughing, dancing, collecting, hugging, discovery, cherishing, mending, speaking (praising), and peace! Be glad that there is a time for every matter under heaven. And remember, you – like all of creation – are under heaven and you truly matter to God!
I don’t know what season of life you currently are experiencing. I do know, however, that my earnest prayers for the last few weeks have been to ask for the seasons to change that I may experience a time of new birth and growth, a time to heal, a time to laugh, a time to dance, a time to embrace, a time to love, and a time for peace. I pray with the assurance that God will grant my desire of a change in seasons. And the same is true for you. Just don’t give up! Place your whole faith, hope, and trust in the Lord – who is the God of all the seasons of your life.
Finally, when the time comes, get out there and frolic with your children and grandchildren in the piles of fallen leaves, because it won’t be long before the seasons will change! Just a thought. (Picture by Julia)