Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says,
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.
We are told that everything has a season, a time, and a purpose under heaven. The Lord has given man the task to seek out God’s purposes by putting the idea of eternity in man’s heart. No one is able to see or change what God decides to do. In this passage, the writer makes three major observations:
1) God has given man the task to be occupied with
2) God made everything beautiful in its time
3) God put eternity in man’s heart
Ultimately, timing is everything. I am sure that you’ve heard this phrase before. But that doesn’t detract from the fact that there is a great deal of truth in that statement. For instance, the difference between a good joke and a bad one is a person’s sense of timing. An appropriate pause makes a good joke, but holding it out too long or too short could kill the same joke. Timing is essential when dealing with people. You wouldn’t ask for a raise when business is slow, or when there is tension in the office. You wouldn’t ask a favor of someone who is stressed. When you’re cooking, timing is extremely important. A juicy cut of meat can become a dry, burnt mess if cooked too long. The same concept of timing is important in our spiritual lives as well. It is critical that we live our lives with the same acute awareness of God’s timing in our lives.
Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes 3 that life is really a matter of timing, for timing is everything. This should be evident to us. You and I probably have a dozen clocks and four or five calendars in our homes.
5 Thoughts on the Seasons of our Lives
1) Expect Change.
Solomon does not judge the actions, but simply says that there is a time for them. The events in our lives do not randomly happen, God is in control. Thus, we should be thankful and delight in every season. There are 14 negative statements and 14 positive ones. The first pair contrasts birth and death, which sets the parameters for the events that follow in the passage. God appoints both our birthday and the day of our death. He knows exactly when they will occur, He always has. God cannot be surprised. He is sovereign, there is nothing that he cannot do.
2) Relationships change over time.
Our relationship with God is like a relationship with a good friend. It will change over time and mature. The best man at my wedding, is truly one of the best friends I’ve ever had the chance to get to know. He and I regularly made time our of our weeks to meet with one another. Even though we live about 3 hours away, whenever we pick up the phone to talk to one another, it is like we’ve been together and nothing has changed. We’ve been able to laugh together, cry, make crazy memories, and our relationship is stronger because of that. Yes, we’ve had rough patches, we’ve had times when we’ve lost touch, but we’ve come out stronger because of it. Our relationship with God goes through seasons, but ultimately becomes stronger because of these experiences.
3) Relationship with God goes through droughts and spiritual slumps.
We all know that there are spiritual peaks and valleys in our spiritual walks. There are times when we feel like we’ve never been farther away from God, and other’s when we cannot escape the weight of His presence. Where are you at in your spiritual walk?
4) We often think that we are the only one who experiences these emotions.
This is a strong tactic of the devil. He attempts to isolate us and make us believe that we are the only person who has ever felt this way. Nobody could possibly understand. We cannot get pigeon holed into one emotion. We must remember that there is a time for the emotion that we are experiencing, and that it will only last a short while. There is no wrong emotion, but too much of one can be bad.
5) Do not jump the gun. Wait on God.
God is ultimately in charge of all the events in our lies. We have a tendency to want to change where we are at in our lives. How often do we stop to pray? How often do we stop to listen to God? Are you comforted by the truth in Ecclesiastes 3?
You are not alone. Pray through the valleys, rejoice on the mountains, and remember that God is in control.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”