A Time And A Season

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
     So wrote the writer of Ecclesiastes and as true today as when he first penned these words some 6,00 years ago.   Roger McGuinn and The Byrds  were smart enough to put it to music and make a best selling record some 50 years ago.  It is the Bible’s version of Yin and Yang.
     When my father’s best friend Howie suddenly died of a massive heart attack when I was 14 years old I found these words comforting.  The repast was held at our house and I remember thinking how strange it was that people who were just crying and grieving at a gravesite were now eating, drinking and laughing.  Do emotions change that quickly?  Have we all of a sudden forgotten Howie?  Why weren’t people still upset and crying and grieving the loss of this dear friend?  So I went down to my room and opened my Bible.  It was one of those “I don’t know what to read so I will open it up and see where I land” kind of approaches to Bible reading.  I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, just something to give me a sense of assurance.  Well, I landed on Ecclesiastes chapter three and the words written above.  I immediately understood…The time for weeping had ended…for now… and now was a time to laugh;  It was ok because you cannot grieve 24 hours a day forever.   The time for life was over, as short as it was and now was the time of death.  Unexpected, unwanted and uninvited but it was the time.  Mourning would eventually turn into dancing as his wife would years later remarry and create new memories with another man.  A time for everything and a season for every activity.
     As we sit with our ailing mother in the hospital, there are moments of sadness and moments of happiness.  There are moments of laughter and moments of tears.  We sit for long periods in silence and there are times we chatter away.  In one part of the hospital newborns are arriving in the world to the joy of their parents.   In another part of the hospital family cling to the hands of loved ones with tears of grief as they help to usher them  from this life to the next.  A time for everything and a season for every activity.
     Everyone is in a different season of life and what that season looks like or how it is experienced is different for everyone.  There is often no telling how long the season will last as it is ultimately in the hands of God.  The season may be filled with great elation, hope and promise or with pain and desperation. It can sometimes be a rollercoaster with tremendous highs and devastating lows.  The seasons change…the activities change…the people change….the moments change…the emotions change…the perceptions change…the thoughts change….the experiences change.  The only thing that does not change is God.   He is trustworthy to lean on and lean into throughout the seasons of life. He is the God of the seasons, He is the God over the seasons.  In order embrace our seasons, even when they don’t feel good or make sense,  we must first and continually embrace the God  who does not change.
     What season of life are you in?  Be encouraged and emboldened…God does not change.  God is faithful and just.  God is in the seasons.  There is a time for everything and a season for every activity.  
 What do you think?
How does it make you feel?