Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)
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.
Our life is fulfilled in seasons. Each season preparing and welcoming the next. Though one might think that life is random determined by fate, comprised on consequences, driven by circumstances ultimately ending when we die, nothing could be more from the truth. There is a time for everything. Every single detail of our life has meaning and purpose. Obviously, there are some seasons that we welcome and others we hope never come. Sowing and reaping in the natural is dependent on the seasons. Sowing and reaping spiritually in the cultivation of our soul requires seasons as well. In order to grow, develop and mature bearing the Fruit of His Spirit, believers must learn to change with the seasons of life or they will die in the past. A seed left unplanted will never grow. A field without water will die in the drought. Overrun by weeds, new life is choked out. When the harvest comes with no one is there to take it – it will be consumed by those who did not plant or water or die back to the ground. This is both naturally and spiritually true.
When the seasons begin to change, we must be ready to change with them. When the season is pleasant for example a birth, everyone celebrates. However, when it changes to death, it becomes mourning. Both must occur, yet only one is welcomed. Catching up with a friend, we talked about the seasons in our life changing this year. It is difficult sometimes to walk out of one season and into another without looking back. If the season before was too challenging, fear keeps our eyes on that which almost overtook us in attempt to protect our future. That’s silly. No really it is. When winter turns to summer and we head to the beach, I pack things relevant to summer like sunscreen, umbrellas, towels and a cooler of drinks. I do not bring a heavy wool coat and space heater just in case with steaming hot cocoa. Our transition in spiritual seasons of life should be no different. The Lord has given us a promise that there is a place for every season that we go through. There is a time for everything. A season for every activity under the heavens. He goes so far as to detail many of them in Ecclesiastes 3:2-8. No one will argue these seasons for many of us have lived through most of them already. The key is never to stay in the season you are in, but learn how to change with them just as nature does.
Ecclesiastes 3:9-11 (NIV)
What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 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.
Farmers who plant use the Farmer’s Almanac to guide them through seasons. Children of God have the Word of God to lead us through the spiritual seasons of life. Do we use it? I know that when something breaks or goes awry in our house, that my husband “googles”, “you-tubes” and searches every forum available for the best solution to our problem. How do you make it through the season that you are in? Do you search the Word of God? Do you pray? Do you seek the Lord wholeheartedly?
The Authority of Life is God. He created you with a purpose and plan that is in full effect. It contains a future and hope found in Him. (Jeremiah 29:11) When we seek Him wholeheartedly, His Plan is implemented in our life. (Jeremiah 29:13) Nothing is a surprise to the Lord for every day of our life was written before a single one began. (Psalm 139:16) He promises to take every detail of our life and work it for our good. (Romans 8:28) The Lord can do that because of His Grace given to us through Calvary. It is enough to carry us through the seasons of life even those that leave us weak and broken. (2 Corinthians 12:9) Jesus wants to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can even think to ask for just because He loves us so. (Ephesians 3:18-20) He promises to perfect that which concerns us. (Psalm 138:8) The Lord is doing a new thing, but we must forget the former things in order to focus on it and embrace it. (Isaiah 43:18-19) He creates streams in wastelands so even that barren valley of darkness you just came out of has great potential in God.
The Lord says, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it?” Sadly those fixated on yesterday will not see the vision for tomorrow, today will be wasted worrying that the past will catch up with us. New life results in those who love God living from Glory to Glory and Victory to Victory. You cannot repeat yesterday’s race. It is over. You must engage in today’s opportunity to see its results. Jesus said it himself, those who endure to the end will be saved. Finally, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17) As your soul prospers so will you. Your soul cannot live outside of Jesus Christ. He has a plan. He died to give you access. What one does with it is up to the individual.
Ecclesiastes 3:12-14 (NIV)
I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
The cancer our son endured and beat is very aggressive and rare. When I hear of a child diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer, I immediately try to make contact with the family to be sure that the cancer has been screened for the Epstein Barre virus which is the cause of mononucleosis the origin of this monster. The treatment plan changes dramatically when it is determined as the culprit. it is labeled as rare though sadly gaining in popularity. The young man who has it lives in our area and is being treated by the doctors that made this journey with our son. Except this time around, they know their opponent and what it is capable of. The chances of survival for him are now greater because of the journey of our son. I am thankful for that because again the enemy both cancer and the devil who cast it into humanity gets kicked in the face. His mother and I spoke at length yesterday. We will talk again. I will walk as closely through this battle as she needs, wants and expects. Why? I have already walked it. I have resources that she can use and not have to look for. I know my way around the hospital she is in. I have felt the emotions she has now and will have as time goes by. Who better to escort her on this journey than the one who walked it before?
If all those verses previously noted about God’s Authority and Power in our life are true, who better to do life with ? If He really has a Plan and Purpose for our good and blessing, shouldn’t He be the One we follow? We can find satisfaction in all the “toils” of life. Toil is hard and continuous work. It means exhausting labor. Some seasons are just that hard and laborious. The Lord has ordered our life into steps. Each one is its own season. Who better to escort me on my way? We must learn to keep our eyes on the plow. (Luke 9:62) If we look back, we will move to one side. But if we keep our eyes facing front fixed on Jesus Christ, we will endure to the end and be saved. Isn’t that what life and all of its seasons is all about? To claim the prize of Eternity. It is hidden in our hearts. It is our drive for success. It shapes the desire of our dreams. It is the longing for satisfaction left unfulfilled by this world.
Hebrews 12:1-6 (NIV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
I feel the need to clarify when talking about our son’s battle with cancer, God did not give our son a deadly disease. But God has used this experience to change some things in our heart and mind, it is the harvest of the season. My priorities radically changed immediately when my heart was broken and the contents strewn out. I was forced to take only what I could carry in its remains. I chose Jesus. Live or die. He was our son’s only hope. He was the only way that I would survive the horrible ordeal. I knew that nothing good would come of this horrible experience if we didn’t have Jesus and allow Him to maintain control. So we did. We won. Our son is alive and living his life just as he did before cancer came and now that it is gone. However, we are different people now with different priorities. I am learning to walk in this new season not looking back over my shoulder waiting for yesterday to assault us again. This is just as important as the lesson I learned the day I heard the awful words, “I am sorry, it is cancer.”
If the enemy cannot take you out in the valley, he will try to keep you there. It is time to move on. It may be very difficult but God has not given us the spirit of fear so rebuke it and move on. The man who wanted Jesus to heal his son said to the Lord, “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “If you can?” Then Jesus corrected him saying, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” The man immediately changed his mind and said, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.” To believe means to have confidence in the truth, the existence, and the reliability of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in this life. Not just in the everlasting but here and now. Faith gives us access to eternity. Like a boarding pass, you have to have it at the gate. You board the plane without it. Do you believe? Trials and tests in life allow us to see the limits of our faith and trust in the Lord and presses us to know Him more. Triumph reinforces our confidence in God’s Goodness and Grace so we are renewed and restored before the next test comes. All of this works together to prepare us to life forever with Jesus. We need to see life from Eternity’s Perspective to see meaning and purpose in each season good or bad and by faith become convinced that there is beauty in them all.
Psalm 139:1-5 (NIV)
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.