In an extremely Insta-worthy moment this morning, I sat in the car, overlooking the coast on the north-east of England, watching the sun rise over the ocean that stretched out in front of me. It was a moment of reflection: a second to pause, and to take in the glimpse of a new beginning, peeking over the horizon.
As we sat, we reflected on this timely reminder, found in Ecclesiastes 3:
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to search and a time to give up; a time to keep and a time to throw away; a time to tear and a time to mend; a time to be silent and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.
He has made everything beautiful in its time”
I’m spending some time today reflecting on these words. Perhaps you can relate: the past year, and actually the past decade, has been one of massive significance. It seems like the waves of change and challenge have come crashing time and time again, hardly giving me a second to come up for air. There has been so much good, and yet it is the hard things that hang in the air today – and as we move forward into a new year, I don’t want to brush them aside and pretend that they haven’t affected the person that I am walking into 2020 as.
Ultimately, the writer of these verses is explaining to us the simple truth that only God, who wrote our story and appointed each of the seasons that come and go, can really understand what all of this means. It reminds us that in all of the different seasons and facets of life, there is beauty and there is light – but there is also a dark shadow of the inevitability of trouble and of evil, and of the monotony of life; the author understood that while there are good things in life, the trouble and the hardship can’t be escaped, and that through all of this we can find a glimmer of hope in seeing God as the master of time.
So today, I’m not going to join in with the hoards of my connections on social media, who are making their resolutions and promising themselves that everything is going to be different this year. I’m simply going to take a moment to recognize that there have been, and there will be, seasons of joy and seasons of pain; seasons of triumph and seasons of putting one foot in front of the other, and that God is present through it all.
Instead of making goals and resolutions that I’ll have forgotten about in a week, I’m going to try to go into this year with an awareness of the season that I am standing in, and the ways that God is moving around me within it.
A Five Minute Reflection
He has made everything beautiful in its’ time
Take a moment to think about the place that your feet are planted in. Where is God, in that circumstance? What is He doing? What is He saying? What is His tone like? You might want to write down some thoughts and prayers in a journal, or just pause and reflect by yourself. What does your season look like, right now?
a time to plant // a time to uproot
a time to kill // a time to heal
a time to tear down // a time to build
a time to weep // a time to laugh
a time to mourn // a time to dance
a time to scatter stones // a time to gather them
a time to embrace // a time to refrain from embracing
a time to search // a time to give up
a time to keep // a time to throw away
a time to tear // a time to mend
a time to be silent // a time to speak
a time to love // a time to hate
a time for war // a time for peace