Monday Goodness Devotional
I love the changing of the seasons. With each turn from winter to spring to summer to fall, I find something that delights me. Each transition feels like a fresh start. Though winter seems stark and barren, the bare trees reveal the bluest January skies. Unseen work is happening in the ground and vegetation that will bring forth the vibrant colors of spring. Summer (admittedly my least favorite season) brings longer days and invites us to marvel at the ocean and enjoy a break in our routines. Fall (my favorite!) offers cooler days and nights, and I marvel as leaves turn fiery reds, oranges, and yellows before they dance to the ground.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Each of the 14 seasons (listed below) offers one we embrace and one we’d rather avoid.
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;
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.
For a good explanation of some of the harder passages here, listen to The Bible Recap (8 minutes).
For every season (even the ones we don’t want), God has a purpose. And His purposes are always good, redemptive, just, and loving. In my own life, heartbreaking seasons have fertilized my heart to trust God’s character more than demand His blessings.
I know several families facing deep grief and difficult battles right now, seasons marked by weeping and mourning. They are lamenting and drawing near to God, who records their sorrows and captures their tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). God has redeemed even death, which was not part of His creation plan, for His glory. We cannot fully understand it, but as believers, we can trust it. God sent us a sympathetic Savior who knew pain and death. And because of that, we will forever live without heartache in eternity with Him.
We cannot always see the fruit produced from each season. With patience and trust, we will see “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Even in this verse, the author points out that we won’t fully see or understand all God is doing. And verse 14 tells us, “I perceived that whatever God does endures forever.” We can be thankful that He is producing lasting fruit in us and through us (John 15:16) in every season.
To Read – Read all of Ecclesiastes 3.
To Consider – As you look at the seasons listed in Ecclesiastes 3, think of some of the fruit that has come from different seasons in your life, even the difficult ones. Thank God that He has made everything beautiful in its time and that whatever He does endures forever.