We live in a cold climate where the change of seasons is dramatic. As I look out the window this morning over a field of frosted corn, the sun popping up bright yellow over the horizon and reflecting off the golden foliage of the birch trees, my mind ponders the verses from Ecclesiastes. A time for every season.
The changing of the seasons always bring me a twinge of pain. It is as if memories haunt me and the broken dreams of a life gone too soon remain just that- dreams.
Maybe I should try to switch it around and feel secure in the promise that God has provided me strength through each and every season.
God Provides a Time for Every Season
Ecclesiastes 3 is a beautiful poem written by King Solomon. This was written later in his life while he was reflecting back and contemplating his wise and poor choices. In many ways, he was contemplating life in general which is why he ends the book with ” Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: to fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Ecclesiastes 12:13 NKJV). This would make a good post for another time, but for now a little background was needed.
Back to Ecclesiastes 3.
To everything, there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born, And a time to die;
A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill, And a time to heal;
A time to break down, And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain, And a time to lose;
A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear, And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
8 A time to love, And a time to hate;
A time of war, And a time of peace.
To Everything there is a Season Meaning
We are accustomed to change, are we not? We often refer to seasons of life as we might nature’s seasons. A period of time that will change. A season of hardship, a season of raising young children, the honeymoon season, the empty nest season. Periods of time in which we cycle through.
Perhaps Solomon had it correct when he explains that to everything there is a season. He understood the changes we go through as our lives unfold. I feel as if he thought we need to embrace each season and find comfort in the fact that is it just a season. It was never intended to last forever.
A Time to Be Born and a Time to Die
I remember holding my newborns in the delivery room and the rush of emotion that came with each one. A powerful love, a determination to love and protect. There is nothing more amazing than a new life.
We are all aware of the cycle of life. We rejoice in the birth of a new life, we cry and mourn the death of a loved one.
We cling to memories, we carry on traditions to honor the ones that have gone on before us.
Did you know that it was never intended for us to mourn? The garden of Eden was a perfect, beautiful place with no pain or suffering. Much like heaven is now.
“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
For more encouraging verses about heaven, see “She Still Lives: Bible Verses about Heaven after Death”.
A Time to Laugh and a Time to Cry
We can all relate to a time to laugh and a time to cry. It does feel as if it comes in cycles, doesn’t it? A family vacation, a summer of happy memories, Christmas parties with family and friends, a time to laugh and enjoy the life God has given us.
Your friend hurts you, your husband leaves you, your grown child moves away. Tears are words when the heart is too broken to utter them. A time to cry.
We find comfort in knowing that we move on, we learn to handle new situations and we adapt to the change. Life will become good again and we will laugh.
A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance
I’ve been struggling a lot the past few days. It all started because I wanted to hang up Rebekah’s coat with the other winter coats like I did last year and the year before.
But it struck me that if she were alive that this coat would no longer fit her. She would’ve outgrown it. So then, the comfort in having her things with the rest of ours was suddenly not a comfort. It was an ugly reminder that we are all growing and she is not. A life stolen. Triggers are weird like that. They come unexpectedly and cause havoc.
Once again, it is a time to mourn. I remember all too well the dark days. The days when I thought I had died. When losing my daughter was a pain worse than I had ever known possible. I am convinced that the pain alone should have killed me.
These dark days do not come often anymore and I find comfort knowing that a time to mourn is just another season. A necessary one as the pain remains, lurking under the surface. The coat issue messed me up though. Honestly, what do I do?
My Caleb just turned 12 and Micah turned 8. They are growing and changing and I am so proud of both of them. Celebrating their lives and the wonderful people they are is my time to dance.
While my heart mourns my Rebekah who will not grow, God has given me the wonderful understanding that I can still rejoice in my boys. I can still rejoice in the living and the good that surrounds me.
A Time to Keep Silent and a Time to Speak
Are you a good listener? I am trying very hard to learn to be one. I tend to talk- a lot, and I find that often times people simply need someone to listen.
A time to keep silent and a time to speak is something God is teaching me.
There are times when I am too quick to discipline my kids and then end up apologizing once I hear the whole story.
Times when a friend simply doesn’t want to talk, but is comforted by the fact that I am right here next to her.
This often applies to difficult people. Sometimes you need to put them in their place and often you need to bite your tongue.
Accepting A Time for Every Season While Serving a God that Does Not Change
More than the comfort found in understanding the way seasons cycle is the comfort found in a God who does not.
God does not change. He remains steadfast and strong through all of our changes.
“Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed.
But You are the same, And Your years will have no end. The children of Your servants will continue, And their descendants will be established before You. “(Psalm 102:25-28)
A Time for Every Season
So then, a time for every season is something that should be embraced. Back to my embrace word! Knowing that change is a normal part of life and find reassurance in the fact that seasons of life are meant to be just that- seasons.
Also, embracing a God who does not change and finding comfort in the one who is in control of the seasons.
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