Margin notes: Things I scribbled in the white spaces on Jan. 13, 2K9


notes-21 – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (ESV) For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

RAF: All of life is seasonal – even our spiritual lives. For some, this is refreshing. The changes bring new opportunities, challenges and possibilities. For others, this is a disconcerting reality. Change also often brings pain. The comfort of the familiar is disturbed. It brings uncertainty, fear and the need to re-adjust. But for things which are alive, there must always be change.

Change on some level is a sign of life. God is ever about the business of change in the lives of His children. We are in process. He has destined us to be conformed to the image of His Son. We are – in too many ways to number – still short of that goal. And He is faithful to move us forward in it irrespective of our fears, resistance – and even our groans. He never strains us beyond what He is willing to provide instruction and comfort for in His Word and by His Spirit. To these we must repair constantly. But we must come to realize that the change will, it MUST come.

What is most comforting to me in all of this (as one who faces change with much difficulty) is that our God remains God over each of the seasons listed. We might render the passage with that in mind.

For everything, there is a season, and a time for every matter – under the sovereign superintendence of our God.

God is God over the seasons of birth.

God is God, over the seasons of dieing.

God is God when we are planting.

God is still God when we are harvesting.

God is God when He brings about His fatal judgments.

God is God when He restores and heals those His chastening hand has wounded.

God is God when the useless must be torn down.

God is God in the erecting of what is more useful.

God is God when we are brought to tears.

God is God when we laugh.

God is God when we grieve.

God is God in the dancing days of celebration.

God is God when we have to clear the fields of stones for planting.

God is God when we need to gather stones for building.

God is God when we rend our garments in shock, dismay and grief.

God is God when we sew them back up.

God is God when we do not speak in wisdom.

God is God when we must speak in truth.

God is God as we learn to love Him more and His people.

God is God when we learn the holy art of hating sin and its results.

God is God as we battle the world, the flesh and the devil.

God is God as we rest in the promise that He will finish the good work He’s begun in us.

There is no time, no circumstance when and where He is not our Lord.

Oh Christian – look to Him in EVERY season.

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