“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…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)
I’ve been studying the book of Ecclesiastes with a dozen or so college girls, and this week we arrived at the times and seasons in Chapter 3. I listened as they shared about the highs and lows of their lives and how God is showing His faithfulness in the various seasons they find themselves in.
There was a silence and then one of the girls looked at me and said, “What about you? What season are you in right now?”
I had been sitting quietly contemplating if I was going to disclose mine to them. I knew they weren’t expecting the only answer I could give—a heavy one. I certainly didn’t want to make them uncomfortable by seeing the person who was discipling them break into tears at the end of Bible study.
But then tears are indicative of my season right now. There’s been much weeping and mourning. Three deaths, a family member’s cancer diagnosis followed by multiple surgeries, moving and closing a chapter of my life—the events keep unfolding and the tears compound.
“…a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…” (Ecclesiastes 3:4)
I wanted to be authentic with the girls. I didn’t want to pretend my life isn’t difficult or that I don’t struggle in similar ways. So with as few teardrops as possible, I explained about this season in which I find myself. When I finished, they gathered around me, laid hands, and prayed for me.
Later, as I was reflecting on the sweetness of that moment, I also reflected on how timely our study of Ecclesiastes was—and how even this very week I needed to be reminded that life is cyclical.
This season of weeping and mourning won’t last forever.
The very fact that there is a season of weeping and mourning signifies that God is at work. So often I want to relegate His work to the more joyous seasons, the ones that are a pleasure to be living through. But all seasons, even the painful ones, are indicative of a God who is pruning, refining, teaching.
I’ve learned each season is meaningful, every single one of them, and as much as I’d like to race through the harder ones, I can’t. Oh there are the obvious reasons, like the simple fact that I can’t affect time itself. But I also must resist the urge to hurry through them. Because when there are good moments—and there are many even in the midst of weeping—they shine even brighter. And because I can see how it’s growing me, how He’s growing me…
He’s taking my puny prayer life and showing me how to pray in earnest,
He’s tearing down my pride by forcing me to ask others to intercede on my behalf,
He’s helping me to fall in deeper love with His Word,
He’s giving me eyes to see those who are walking through a similar season,
He’s burdening my heart for those who do not know the Hope in which I have.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
When this season gives way to another one—and oh, praise God it will—I will know Him more deeply than I did before.
May it be true in every season to come.
What about you? What season are you currently in? What is God showing you?
Photo credit: Gabriela Camerotti