Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 [CEB]
There’s a season for everything
and a time for every matter under the heavens:
A time for giving birth and a time for dying,
a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted,
A time for killing and a time for healing,
a time for tearing down and a time for building up,
A time for crying and a time for laughing,
a time for mourning and a time for dancing,
A time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones,
a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces,
A time for searching and a time for losing,
a time for keeping and a time for throwing away,
A time for tearing and a time for repairing,
a time for keeping silent and a time for speaking,
A time for loving and a time for hating,
a time for war and a time for peace.
What do workers gain from all their hard work? I have observed the task that God has given human beings. God has made everything fitting in its time, but has also placed eternity in their hearts, without enabling them to discover what God has done from beginning to end.
I know that there’s nothing better for them but to enjoy themselves and do what’s good while they live. Moreover, this is the gift of God: that all people should eat, drink, and enjoy the results of their hard work.
What better verses can there be for New Year’s Day? We turned to a whole new calendar this morning. We have a rough idea of the holidays, the school year, the day of graduation (or as it is for our household, TWO graduation days, as both The Johnnie and Reedy Girl will be graduating in the spring!) There is a sense of purpose and motion in these verses. It’s easy to get caught up in them.
There are many things on my “wish list” that may or may not happen in the year ahead. Learning to rest, trust and believe that God is in charge is a huge challenge for me. Frequently I doubt not only God’s direction, but my ability to understand and follow it.
When I took the photo above, I was marveling at the ways that the jetstream, unseen by my eyes on the ground, was busy, moving the jets’ comtrails, blending them with the clouds, and showing the power of nature. What I could not see was still real. The forces at work were not discernible, yet the evidence was clear that they were there.
There is a sense of the ordering of the seasons. The days we have ahead may be roughly planned, but we still walk by faith with a lot of the details as yet unknown. It’s scary. It’s exciting. It’s a faith walk filled with hope, curiosity and, yes, fears. But as surely as God has placed “eternity” in our hearts, so there is also joy. There may also be challenges, successes, achievements, failures and frustrations, yet God is equal to those moments as well.
I look ahead with anticipation, wanting to know and see those places of enjoyment ahead. Here’s to a year of many “times” — all of them in God’s hands.