There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven – 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. . . Ecclesiastes 3:1 – 4
This is possibly one of the best known and most loved passages in Scripture for it describes so beautifully all the emotions and changes that life can bring.
There are so many appointed times in our lives in which we have no choice but to abide by and accept. They are totally out of our control and they rest in God’s hands. Then there are others in which we are free to choose our own direction, our own path. Either way, change is not always easy – some circumstances we embrace joyfully, and others we regret, dread, or mourn. For some of us who resist change, we find security in the regular routines, the rhythms and patterns of life. They are safe and orderly, and they bring us comfort.
Then there are the seasons of the year – those times in God’s beautiful creation that can bring about much change. These are ones I can embrace and look forward to. I like living in a location where we can enjoy a variety of weather and changes in nature. I love spring with its newness of life, summer with its warm temperatures and outdoor activities, fall with its blazing colors and cool breezes, and even winter with its cold, sleeping peacefulness in nature. We all have our favorites and often don’t look forward to them coming to an end, but just as in life, we know these changes will come.
As I look back over the years, I realize that I too have gone through these “seasons”; many of them, which have brought about much change. Some of them were welcomed, appreciated, and brought much joy. Others were difficult, painful, and they changed my life forever in ways I could never have imagined. These too were times that were set aside for something to take place and were completely orchestrated by our Sovereign Creator.
A season – a period of time, a change in circumstances, a loss of loved ones, the joy of new ones, a time of confusion and uncertainty, or days filled with unexpected happiness and peace. These too, come and they go.
On some occasions, we can be completely blindsided as they come with such fierceness or pain, and at other times, God graciously grants us periods of abundant blessings with few hardships or interruptions. Each will disappear with time, for most assuredly, we know each will return. It is the way of life, and in God’s eyes, both are seen as necessary and good. They become part of our spiritual growth and help us to keep our focus on Him. They build our faith and embolden our trust in the One who loves us more than we can imagine.
There may be such times, these “seasons”, ahead for us in this coming year. But whatever they may be or whatever they may bring, we can trust that God will be there with us, lovingly guiding us through.
Dear God, we pray that as we enter this new year that you will be a constant presence and source of strength and peace. May we look to you as we go through the changing times and “seasons” of our lives and trust in your most holy name. We thank you for the assurance of your love and grace as we live in your presence. Amen