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Weekly Devotionals

A Time for Everything

1    There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2    a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3    a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
4    a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6    a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7    a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8    a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

15 Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account. – Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

As summer comes to a close and cool fall breezes begin to blow again, there often comes a feeling of something ending and perhaps a new season beginning. As I reflected on the eight months that have passed in 2021, I was reminded of this passage in Ecclesiastes. These verses have a way of keeping me sober about the things that have been, the things that are, and the things to come. Although we all have been given the gift of creativity and the freedom to make our own choices, there are also many things that are not in our control. There is an order we live in and an appropriateness to the way we respond in different seasons and these things are governed by God. These verses keep us humble and aware of our need to be aligned with our Maker.

I remember when I was in my last year of college, there was a time when I felt a lot of anxiety about the changes that were going to happening in my life. Moving into adulthood in a real way was overwhelming me with too many new responsibilities to navigate through.  What eventually kept me grounded was the words my mom spoke to me over the phone. She said, “I know you’re feeling anxious but right now you’re a still a student so put your focus on that, not on the things that worry you.” Although searching for jobs and finding where I wanted to live after college were big things that I did need to start thinking about, keeping my heart in my school work was the most important and something I needed to complete well.

In a very practical way, she was speaking similars words to the verses in Ecclesiastes 3. It was a time to study and that was where I needed to put my energy and focus rather than prematurely worry about things that I was not able to do much about yet. They were simple words of wisdom that led to peace.

Many years later, I still find strength in knowing that God is the One who puts order in the world and puts the seasons in place. There are no surprises for Him and no worry. He is also our good Father who will faithfully help us get through today – which will become our strength for tomorrow!

I hope it encourages you to know that through the many changes and unknowns we face each season, we are not expected to orchestrate everything perfectly and make everything right. We’re only asked to stay humble in our hearts and continue to be faithful in the place God has placed us, trusting that God will lead us, heal us, and show us the beauty in what He is doing.

Have a good week, everyone!