Daily Devotion – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – A Time For Everything

Learning to see the good in difficult seasons

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 ESV

There is a time for everything. Solomon shows us that even in the trials of life, tribulations, highs, and lows, God is using those times to grow us.

What’s your favorite season?

I love Fall.

Fall means the trees are changing. The trees are splashed with colors of deep amber, gold, ruby red and darkest of purples. The leaves litter the ground, painting the sidewalks with various colors.

Fall means the air is cooler, which means- hoodies. Y’all I love a good hoodie. The best ones are pullover hoodies with a kangaroo pouch in the front, perfect for cold hands. Fall means boots and blue jeans, beanies and light scarves. Fall means nice warm sweaters with colorful leggings.

Best of all, fall means pumpkin spice lattes. There is nothing better than taking a morning walk through the neighborhood, pumpkin spice latte in between cold hands, taking in all the changing colors of the trees.

And then there is football…

I could go on and on about how wonderful Fall is, but as you can probably tell, it is my favorite season.

Living in California now, it’s rare to get a full Fall like I did growing up in Georgia, but there are glimpses of it here. I take in every glimpse of Fall and cherish it.

Now let’s talk about the season I hate- Summer.

It’s hot.

That’s pretty much the only reason I hate it.

Everything else about Summer is lovely- vacation, longer days, the abundance of berries and stone fruit, more excuses to eat ice cream because of the temp outdoors.

The heat of summer overshadows all of this. I spend my days counting down to Fall.

If I could find a place that was permanently Fall, I’d be in heaven.

Wonderful and Difficult Times

In our Christian walk, we too experience seasons that are wonderful and difficult.

I recently went through a season of pruning and loss. I am now in a season of growth and waiting. It is hard, y’all. God removed many things from my life that I deemed precious, as well as many things that I thought were good, but really weren’t that great. Yet in those losses, it brought me closer to Him and has allowed me to grow more in trusting Him.

To grow also takes work. Seeds have to set roots and break through the soil to produce fruit. The same goes for my walk. God wanted me to grow in trusting Him more, so many things happened in the past 6-8 months to test that trust. Again, very hard, but it allowed me to see how much I really needed to trust God with my life, instead of trusting in myself.

In Ecclesiastes 3, Solomon reminds us that there is a season for everything; we will experience both good and bad. In verses 2-8, he lists things that contrast each other-

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.

No Experience is Wasted

God acknowledges that we may experience seasons of great abundance or great loss. We can experience great joy or great pain. But the beautiful thing of all is this:

None of these seasons or experiences is wasted; God can use everything we experience and make it beautiful. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Here are a few wonderful promises to remember in our hard seasons:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

What was meant for evil, God meant for good. (Genesis 50:20)

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10)

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

No matter what season you’re in; whether it is lack or abundance, remember that God is with you. He loves you and everything you experience is meant to grow you closer to Him and advance His kingdom. Cling tight to Him, whatever your season. There is a time for everything.

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