Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 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. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
What a great scripture – written by King Solomon at the end of his life, reflecting. When I read it recently I heard God say, “so…what TIME is it?” I knew it’s wasn’t a literal question, but a continuing theme that I needed to go deeper on. So I started thinking about my season, my redeeming season, again. It’s been A CHALLENGE to say the least! I’ve been tested in each-and-every-area I wrote about (A Season of Redeeming). Whew. One good thing I have learned though, because I know what time I’m in, I’ve learned to recognize the test immediately and, although I don’t always pass (frown), I see the choice ahead and know which way I SHOULD go.
I want to stop the “round the mountain” cycle…so I don’t end up like the Children of Israel…who wandered in the wilderness for years, going around in circles just to make an 11-day journey, seriously. Here’s the proof: It is [only] eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea [on Canaan’s border; yet Israel took forty years to get beyond it]. Deuteronomy 1:2
They didn’t work with God, but against Him, and themselves. Instead of making progress, they went around and around that same mountain. I know that I could have gotten victory over some things much quicker, but instead, I’ve spent years going through the same mess… Does this ring bells with anyone, or am I the only one who’s fought, argued, cried, disagreed with God’s idea?
Now I have a challenge for YOU! I know you can do it; you’re up to the task. If God has placed eternity in your heart, that is power! It’s the POWER OF GOD in your life. With God NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!
The challenge is this – KNOW YOUR SEASON. If you haven’t given it a thought, then “think on it” and ask God. Why is it so important to know your season? For one very important reason – because recognizing and working WITH God in that season will profoundly escalate you into the next. It’s an agreement, cooperating with the plan God has for you. Working with God is a whole lot easier and saves a lot of inner turmoil.
Are you in a time of weeping or mourning? Then be free to mourn and weep, for after that season has ended, God will give you back your joy (laughter) and even a dance in your step! “…Weeping may endure for the night, but JOY comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5b
Are you in the desert and feel disconnected from God and His plan? Then I KNOW He will fill that place with springs to refresh you because He’s faithful. I’ve been there too. “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.” Psalm 84:5-7
Is it time to scatter away the stones (clutter) in your life? If so, that’s His way of preparing your “soil” for something new to grow. Uproot what is old or not good for you anymore to make room for the NEW thing. Consider all areas – the mind or toxic thinking, the will, your emotions, your habits, is it time to be free of something you’re holding on to? MAKE ROOM for Him to fill!
Is it time to gather? Those stones can be an altar to sacrifice that “something” God has been dealing with you about as a sweet fragrance to Him. Just know if He is asking, He is also enabling you by His GRACE to say yes and then act. Lean into Him, He knows how hard it is. Surrender.
Are you in a place of silence and have no voice? HE IS building for you a bigger platform. Silence is a quiet place for a reason – to hear what He is saying so you can “speak” His words over your life. “...Be still, and know that I AM GOD.” Psalm 46:10
There’s a lot of living between “a time to be born and a time to die.” To know your season will bring contentment, if you choose to accept where God has you. I learned this the hard way. During my “silent years” when I wasn’t singing, I spent A LOT OF TIME very discontent…I didn’t like nor accept it and therefore was very unhappy. I could have saved myself a whole lot of pity-parties if I’d learned that His timing was absolutely perfect. That silent season taught me more about why I worship God, why I love and am so passionate about Him than if I’d never gone through it. I grew by leaps and bounds. I had no idea what God was planning either, but in hindsight, I was being prepared and filled up with more of Him so that once I was “let loose,” so to speak, I was ready…even with shaky knees.
Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am. I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].
Paul said it best. Being content is a powerful place to be!
One important thing to remember – even when we do cooperate with God, His times don’t always line up with ours. We think we’re raring to go and He says WAIT. As hard as that is, it still doesn’t mean that’s it’s “slow.” I’m sure that if we could see beyond this early realm into the next, we’d see how He’s been working on our behalf all along, arranging situations to make everything ready for us to step into. A big ALSO to this – whatever season you’re in, going through it is ALWAYS with God’s help. Can I hear an AMEN? It’s doable only because of Him.
Are you ready?
So back to the challenge… I challenge you ~ stop, recognize, and ask yourself “where am I right now?” Each season can be YOUR GRAND ADVENTURE into knowing more of who God is and His ways, how He works and weaves His plan in you!
It may be hard at times, but truly He does make ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL in His time. I look back and see where God has taken me, rescued me, saved me, restored and also stripped me…and in all of it, I stand in awe.
Life is too precious to waste even one minute! You only live once, so make yours AMAZING!
Selah (pause and calmly “think on it…”)