- Mark Janzen
A Time for Everything
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, 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)
King Solomon, the wisest man of his day, writes these words as a reminder to us that, in all things, God is in control. God has created all things to flow in rhythms and patterns, and so there are times and seasons throughout one’s life, none being exactly the same as before, in a sense predictable, yet unpredictable.
We have sunrise and sunsets to make up days, days to make up seasons, and seasons to make up years. Although constantly changing, everything flows in a pattern, just as God has designed it to do.
Verse 1 should cause us to sit up, take notice, pause and reflect upon the sovereignty of God, and how he operates. Everything is under the control of God, and not only does He control the days and minutes, weeks and seasons, months and years, He has had full control over the whole of history.
We would do well to look over the seasons of history, and see for ourselves the overarching seasons that God has brought humanity through. This will not only help us to see that God is sovereign over all things, but it will help our faith to grow in Him, as through this reflection we will be able to see His faithfulness throughout all generations, no matter the season.
When we look through the pages of Scripture, we realize that, today, we are in one of the most privileged seasons in all of history. Since the fall of man, there have been many seasons. In the season of the Old Covenant, Gods people rebelled, God punished, man repented, and God blessed. Then, again, His people rebelled, He punished, His people turned back, and He blessed them over and over again. This was also a season where His people constantly sacrificed animals for the payment of their sin.
Then, there was a season in which God sent his perfect Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus lived perfectly on this earth, died, and rose again to pay for the sins of a very broken humanity. I cannot think of much better news than this! But that was not the end. Jesus ascended to heaven, and now we are in a season where He has given the Holy Spirit to all of those who believe in Him. How much better could it be? It just keeps getting better! Instead of Jesus walking beside us, we have God within us. We live in the most privileged of all seasons, and yet, it is not the end.
At Jesus’s last supper with his disciples, Jesus said that He would not drink of the cup of wine with his disciples again until one day when He would drink with them in his Father’s kingdom (Matt 26:29). You see, there is coming a season like no other, a season that will not end for us. It is a season of feast and party, a wedding celebration of the Bride of Christ (the Church) to the groom, Jesus Christ. And we will live in the light of his glory for eternity, as His bride. As much as we live in a season of incredible privilege right now (God living within us if we believe in Him), I do look forward to the seasons to come with incredible anticipation.
The seasons, rhythms, and patterns throughout the history of mankind are but shadows of the seasons to come. They are seasons which we look forward to with not much clarity, but with faith in the One who controls them and created them, and allowed us the privilege to be a part of them. There is a season for everything, and we are here for but a season. I look forward to the next one, to see the glory of the one who saved me—I cannot imagine how great that will be. It will be a blessing that is underserved, but for which I will be eternally grateful. Let us toast, as we would a groom, to the One who holds all seasons—the past, present, and future—in His hand, for His own glory.