To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck 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 cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, 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 of war, And a time of peace. What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor-it is the gift of God. I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him. That which is has already been, And what is to be has already been; And God requires an account of what is past (Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 NKJV).
A time, a season and a purpose exist for everything that transpires in this world. It takes faith to perceive the order behind what appears to be chaos. God looks down from heaven and takes in the entirety of His creation. We see these seasons play out with everyone living on a separate timetable. Eating, sleeping, bathing, dressing, working, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, illnesses, hardships and ultimately deaths. The good, the bad and the mundane swirling so swiftly that we lose our sense of belonging and purpose. Mankind, forgetting to look up, sees a few limited miles on the horizon and concludes that the earth is flat. We feel out of control and that our existence is futile.
God has a purpose for us. Living was designed to instill fear and reverence for God. His works are eternal. The wise writer reminds us that “God does it, that men should fear before Him.” The repetition of seasons, in nature and in human life, illuminates the design, the beauty and the need of God in our lives. Perhaps this is how He puts eternity in our hearts. This crazy maelstrom of events and emotion makes us crave the stability of a peaceful eternity. It makes us long for rest in the care of our eternal Father. The opportunity to leave work, pain, and heartache behind comes at the expense of embracing work, pain, and heartache in the here and now.
Spring is rapidly approaching. We all anticipate its arrival, especially after the long and difficult winter we have just experienced. Spring is the season of birth and renewal. It is the time to till the soil and plant the delicate seeds that provide both color and sustenance to mankind. Sap begins to flow, the trees bud and the grass greens. Tulips are already pushing through the soil. We can feel the warming breezes and smell the freshness as spring approaches. Our spirits lift and anticipation grows along with the increasing hours of daylight.
Human lifespans are often compared to the natural seasons. Reflect on your own Spring, the time from birth through the years you spent blooming. Appreciate the boundless energy and enthusiasm of the young. It is faith and hope after all that allow us to fearlessly face the future. We are going to need a healthy dose of faith and hope to see us through the balance of this pandemic and through the turmoil following our national elections.
Look past the chaos. Look past your fears. Look past your heartaches and your struggles. God is still there. The seasons continue to come and go as do we. Have faith and cling to hope.