Seasons, Times and Purposes

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

We only have one life, don’t we? A life filled with fruitful seasons, barren seasons, happy, sad, exciting, mundane. The writer of Ecclesiastes assures us a purpose exists for the myriad of conflicting experiences we encounter. Sometimes I feel like a Dodge Ram commercial. I’m ready to “grab life by the horns.” Other times I can’t even find the horns. Thankfully, (and contrary to cultural norms) the value of life doesn’t rest on fleeting feelings. Significance lies in every season…all of the “a time to’s” listed in the book of Ecclesiastes. If we let it.

I like Florence Nightingale’s perspective,  “Live your life while you have it. [It’s] a splendid gift. There is nothing small in it.” Her experiences on the battlefield taught her the harsh reality of death and made her aware of the dearness of each of life’s moments.

This past year we have experienced some tough losses. We’ve had to walk through “a time to mourn.” As many of you know, grief can overshadow everything else. Depression tends to freeze us in time, tricking us into thinking we’ll never be truly happy again. But in truth, sadness will not last forever. It’s only a season—a “to time to embrace” God’s grace. Until we hope once more.

Times to “dance, laugh and love.” Ah, those are the seasons we wish would last forever. But I guess life would be pretty lopsided if the good times never ended. Their transience should cause us to not take them for granted, and to be thankful. Our pure gratitude for the good seasons creates a bank of strength to draw from when times “to tear down” or “uproot” or go to “war” descend on our souls.

We will never understand why some seasons come our way. But knowing every season has a purpose can bring us tremendous peace, even satisfaction. For the Sovereign God who makes “everything beautiful in its time” (verse 11) created us to live life fully.

So what season are you experiencing? No matter what the “time” might be, may you remember this ageless advice…. “Live your life while you have it. [It’s] a splendid gift. There is nothing small in it.”

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