ECCLESIASTES 3:1: “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:” (NKJV)
OBSERVATION: How do I deal with the changing seasons of life? This is a question we all face as we go through life, and one that I am personally wrestling with as I meditate on this Scripture. Throughout my years of being a pastor, this has been one of the most difficult concepts I have had to walk people through. When someone loses a loved one through tragedy or far before their time, when they experience a great personal loss or disappointment, or when an answer to prayer just seems to be so distant you wonder if it will ever come – what do you say, what do you do?
This is the beauty and wonder of faith. I cannot imagine what it would be like to face these situations in our life without faith in a God who loves us, who sent His son to die for our sins, and who now lives in our hearts through His precious Holy Spirit. Through faith we experience an undergirding power and strength that comes along side of us and supersedes us. This is the wonder of faith!
- “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” Hebrews 11:1-3 NKJV
However, faith does not remove us from the difficulties and pain we experience in life. One thing I have learned, life is no picnic. Everyone will experience difficulty, pain, and sorrow in life. The question is – how will we experience it? Will we walk through these valleys with a sense of sorrow and hopelessness, or will we walk through these valleys in faith? Faith unites us with God and reminds us that His sovereign hand is in control of everything. It is His faithfulness and love that will carry us through and give us clarity and hope – as we trust in Him. The same God that created the world with simply a word – will speak His word over our life in our deepest times of struggle, sorrow, or pain! This is why the Apostle Paul could so resolutely proclaim –
- “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39 NKJV
There are indeed ever changing seasons in life. If you continue to read the verses following Ecclesiastes 3:1 you will see that life is a tapestry of every experience you can imagine. It is not whether or not we will experience the changes of life. The real question is – WHO will we walk with – through them? There is an outstretched hand extended to each one of us today. It is the hand of Jesus, and He invites us to walk with Him through the difficulties of life.
I have seen the poem “Footprints in the Sand”, and it is a very touching poem. However, I think it is a bit misleading. In the deepest times of struggle, sorrow, and pain – Jesus does not carry us – HE LEADS US! He is the Great Shepherd, and He holds our hand and goes before us. He is ever caring, ever watching, and ever interceding on our behalf.
The true picture would be – one set of footprints – with two indentations! He goes before us, and by faith we follow Him step by step as He leads us through the valley of our struggle, and into the next season of our life!
- “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.” Psalms 23:4-6 NKJV
Lord Jesus, lead me this morning I pray!
In Jesus Name!