Study from God’s Word… Ecclesiastes 3: 1 – 17; 11: 7 – 12: 8; 12: 13 – 14; 1st Kings 11: 41 [2nd Chron. 9: 29]; 1st Kings 11: 42-43 [2nd Chron. 9: 30-31] … Passage for Reflection: Ecclesiastes 3: 1 … NIV There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.
My Journal for Today: Today is the last day of May, which is a month identified with Spring; and then we move into the lushness and warmth of Summer. And during this weekend, at the end of May, we celebrate Memorial Day, where we honor our Veterans who died so that we might live. Can you see the seasons playing themselves out in that? Winter and Summer. Life and Death. In the seasons of our world there is balance; and we experience the ebb and flow of life as the seasons unfold.
That’s the message of Ecclesiastes 3; and I know you’ve probably read it … that there is a “TIME” for all things of life. As Smith taught it today in his devotional, ”How can we expect seasons of happiness without seasons of pain? Or seasons of growth without seasons of plantings? Or seasons of excitement with seasons of calm? To wish that our winters of distress could be milder is to risk missing the strength of perseverance harsh winters produce. … We learn from the seasons of nature that, while no season of life lasts forever, every season is important.”
Personally, that’s good writing and wise words; and it’s certainly supported by the section of Ecclesiastes introduced by the sentence Smith highlighted as the touchtone passage of today’s devotional. Yet, as humans, with a sin nature, we have a love-hate relationship with the seasons, don’t we? Some of us love being in the warmth of the summer; but those who love the summer many times hate the cold of the winter. Yet we know, intellectually, that we can’t have the warmth of the summer without the cold of the winter.
Oh how we love the excitement of Christmas; but somehow we, as Christians, know that the winter of Christmas is our reminder of the life which was born as the “reason for the season;” and He points us toward the very necessary death on the cross which we celebrate in the life affirming season of Spring. Yes, there is a time for birth; but there is also a time for death; and we must accept and understand the balance God has for all of the seasons of our life.
Smith’s question for today: Have I learned to welcome whatever season comes my way?
And I’m convicted by this question to more readily accept the pain I experience from my season of arthritis which reminds me of my age being in the fall of life, knowing that the winter which lies ahead will bring me closer to the season where I’ll go home to be with my Savior. When will that occur? I don’t know; but I do know, and accept that God is in control of the seasons of my life; and He has a season which is appointed and anointed to be mine … now … and in the future. And I trust that His seasons are always the right seasons, timed perfectly for His glory.
As Solomon was born to signify the eternal wisdom of God; yet his life signified the foolishness of the human condition. And so, studying Ecclesiastes we find the balance of Godly wisdom from the season of Solomon’s foolishness. To me the ultimate meaning of Ecclesiastes is found in the last two verses of this book, which I see as Solomon’s last will and testament, his declaration of wisdom to honor God after living a life riddled with foolishness. In verses 13-14 of Chapter 12 Solomon (and God) writes … 13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
I hope – and pray – that we all get that … and live it out through the seasons of our lives.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, help me to celebrate the season of now so that I can live for the season of tomorrow. Amen