By Evonne Wimbush
Fresh Harvest Christian Church (D.O.C.)
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NLT
I was sitting outside recently talking with a friend. Our discussion was all over the place…just whatever came to mind. We would talk, pause and reflect, and begin the process over again. We talked about growing up and what we thought about during that time. We talked about our mothers, who are both at rest, and some of the things they would say, and we laughed. We talked about how we thought our lives would be different and about our children. We talked about how beautiful the mountains are and we talked about God.
We talked about how things and people have changed, how we have changed. We chuckled at things that were so important in our twenties and are so insignificant now that we are in our fifties. We laughed at things our mothers used to say and do and we find ourselves doing things similarly. And, we talked about the seasons. We not only talked about the four seasons, winter, spring, summer and fall but also the seasons in our lives.
In Ecclesiastes 3, Solomon poetically declares that God has appointed a time for all things under the sun. God, in His infinite wisdom, has set the cycle of life. While parts of the analogy may appear pessimistic, it gives foresight and creates expectation. This passage lets us know that God is in control and that He had it planned from the beginning. We should trust the Creator. Who knows best about anything but the One that designed and made it? Think about it. If you want to know about a cake, ask the one that made it. If you want to know about a car, ask the one that made it. If we want to know about the issues and circumstances of our lives…you got it; ask the one that made us.
There is a time and a season for everything. I believe that we do not often think of things in this context. I think we look at things and believe they are permanent. Recently, I received word that the manufacturing plant in Woolwine, Virginia is going to be closed in late summer of this year. My initial reaction was, “What? Noooooooo…that plant has been there forever!” After I got over the shock, I thought about it and concluded, its time has ended. While the nostalgic part of me will miss it, the reality will be the time has come for the end of the manufacturing plant and the beginning of something different. The different may be refreshing and “just what the community needs.”
Solomon goes on to write in verse 11, “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” God doesn’t give us step-by-step details on what is happening or is to happen. He tells us what He wants us to know. Then, our faith and trust have to step in. In this passage of scripture, we are reminded by the writer that there is a beginning and an end. What we do in the middle is up to us. For example, our wonderful farmers know that there is a time to plant and a time to harvest. They also know that there is a great deal of preparation in between. Yes, they plant seeds. However, before they plant the seed, the land has to be prepared. If they do not do the work in between, the harvest will not be plentiful, if not at all. We can apply the same to our lives. There is work that we must do. Read Colossians 3:23, Proverbs 16:3, 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, 1 Timothy 5:8, Galatians 6:9, Titus 2:7-8, Acts 20:35, Ephesians 4:28, Proverbs 18:9, Matthew 5:16, Proverbs 22:29, Psalm 37:5 at your leisure. There is a time and a season for EVERYTHING! Be not dismayed at the end, embrace the beginning, and do the work in between.
May God’s grace and peace be upon you today and always.