SEASONS AND TIME
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 To EVERYTHING there is a SEASON, and a TIME for every matter or purpose 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 get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away, A time to rend 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.
Note that the scripture says ‘there is a SEASON and a TIME for everything!’
A SEASON– a specific period of time. A certain period marked by specific (climatic) conditions.
TIME – The Hebrew word most commonly translated as ‘time’ is ayt, which really refers to the instant or duration of time during which something occurs. There is a season (a period of time) for all things but there is also a time (an instant, when something happens) for all things. Seasons are well understood, but the ‘TIME’ aspect is more difficult to grasp and understand. Time is a strange thing. Some have too much time on their hands. Most have not got enough time to give attention to everything that needs their attention. Time is an illusive thing; it seems to run away from us and in some cases simply escapes us. Time is a moment, an hour, a day, a year or any period given to us. For some time may only be a few more moments and for others time may be still many years. Time is a major issue to mankind and an issue that does not bind God. There are different times in our lives and if we can understand these, I believe we will be able to trust God even more.
I recently wanted to prepare our gardens for a special function. I wanted to get the grass green and the trees to shoot their leaves. It was the season of springtime and here and there things had started to bud. Even though it was the start of the spring season and even through some plants and trees had begun to bud, most had not. The TIME (the instant when things happen) had not occurred. We pruned the trees, we fertilized the trees, we watered the trees, but they remained barren branches. We even had unseasonably warm weather, BUT the moment for their TIME to bud had not come. It did, but not exactly when I wanted it to happen. It was the SEASON but not yet the TIME! I want to look at these TIMES that many of us face during the course of life.
1. WAITING IS PART OF LIFE
Have you ever noticed how much of our lives is taken up by waiting? We wait in line to be served. We wait for our children to get out of school. We wait for a new car we have ordered. We wait to move into a new house we have purchased. There are periods in our lives where we live in longing. Perhaps we can call it living in anticipation. And we all go through periods during which we are longing for God to come through for us. These can be difficult times; times of despondency and times when we may be tempted to despair.
Psalm 14:7 Oh, that the time of their rescue were already here, that God would come from Zion now to save his people. What gladness when the Lord has rescued Israel!
Perhaps you have been living in a time like this. A time of longing that God would come through for you, your family, your marriage or your health. It is in these times that we need to be careful. If we give up, it leads to our hearts becoming hard and that can be destructive. We must hold on!
2. THE TIME TO TURN AWAY FROM DOING WRONG
Here is another time in our lives that is crucial. A time (an instant) when we deal ruthlessly with sin. A time of settling issues in our hearts that will stand for a lifetime.
Psalm 34:14 Turn from all known sin and spend your time in doing good. Try to live in peace with everyone; work hard at it.
It calls for a change in the way in which we live. These times (moments) of turning can be a challenge. BUT the Holy Spirit wants to helps us in all things. Perhaps you are in a time of turning away from what is wrong. Perhaps you have endeavored to do so, but you have failed from time to time. Don’t allow that to stop the ‘time of turning.’ God’s plan for us is to be over-comers. For this reason most people can tell you when they were Born Again. It was a specific moment in time when things changed in their lives.
3.THE TIME TO REALISE THAT OUR TIME ON EARTH IS SHORT
There comes a time when we realize that our time here on earth is a short season. When we are young we think we will live forever. With time we begin to understand that life is short and we will not live, as we know it forever. My own father died at the age of 57. Up until then, we as a family had never experienced death first hand. In fact, even though my Dad was not physically strong, we somehow did not think he would die. But he did and it seemed premature. Up until that point we felt immortal, as if we would never die. But when death became a reality, in an instant I realized that life is short. It is for this reason that it takes courage to face old age, as the reality of the brevity of life becomes a reality.
Psalm 39:4-5 Lord, help me to realize how brief my time on earth will be. Help me to know that I am here for but a moment more. My whole lifetime is but a moment to You.
While we are young and we feel immortal, we live life as if it will never end, but in that moment in time when we discover that life is short, everything changes. From our motivations to our actions. The wise use of time is a vital aspect that we need to understand.
4. THE TIME TO TRUST
There comes a time in our lives when we have to trust. We should trust God at all times, but we often trust and rely on ourselves. But there comes a time to each one of us when we have no alternative but to trust God. Perhaps you are trusting for a family member, or some situation that you long for God to resolve. Then it is your time (moment) of trusting.
Psalm 62:8‘O my people, trust Him all the time. Pour out your longings before Him, for He can help!’
If you are in the time of trusting, there is something that you need to do, ‘pour out your longings before Him’. The greatest joy is the fact that ‘He can help.’ Let your source of hope and your source of strength be in Christ alone!
5. THE TIME FOR GOD TO ACT
There is a time (an instant) when God moves. The story of Joseph is an example. God gave him dreams of things to come. But from that point on, everything went wrong. He was rejected, abandoned, sold into slavery, abused, falsely accused and imprisoned. There he was forgotten. Some experts estimate that this period was about 14 years and then in one day he went from the prison to the throne! It may not be in the time frame that we would have thought best, BUT, He knows best. The time comes when God responds and acts.
Psalm 119:126 ‘Lord, it is time for you to act.’
Psalm 37:7‘Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him to act.’
Psalm 42:11 ‘But, O my soul, don’t be discouraged. Don’t be upset. Expect God to act!’
There is a time for God to act.
6. THE TIME OF REJOICING BECAUSE GOD HAS COME THROUGH FOR US
This is another moment in time. A time of victory and rejoicing. A moment of joy in the realization that God has answered, has heard and has come through for us.
Psalm 18:1-2 This song of David was written at a time when the Lord had delivered him from his many enemies, including Saul. ‘Lord, how I love You! For You have done such tremendous things for me. The Lord is my fort where I can enter and be safe; no one can follow me in and slay me. He is a rugged mountain where I hide; He is my Savior.’
Maybe this has been what you have been longing for. Just as God come through for the great men of faith in the Bible, so He wants to come through for each of us. Have you given up? Don’t, victory could be just around the corner.
7. THE RIGHT TIME
There are times and season for everything.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 There is a right time for everything: A time to be born; a time to die; A time to plant; a time to harvest; A time to kill; a time to heal; A time to destroy; a time to rebuild; A time to cry; a time to laugh; A time to grieve; a time to dance; A time for scattering stones; a time for gathering stones; A time to find; a time to lose; A time for keeping; a time for throwing away; A time to tear; a time to repair; A time to be quiet; a time to speak up; A time for loving; a time for hating; A time for war and a time for peace.
Whatever season you may find yourself in, may you embrace that period and allow your trust to be in the One who can be trusted. His timing (moment or instant when things happen) is impeccable! In Christ alone I place my trust and find my glory in the power of the cross, in every victory. Let it be said of me, that my source of strength and my source of hope is in Christ alone.
By: Andrew W Roebert
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