There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
Three bathing suits and a dress for $15.74. Was this in the 1950’s? No, it was last December off the clearance rack at JC Penney.
Why so cheap? Because my treasures were out of season. They would have netted the merchant a couple of hundred dollars just a few months earlier. But in early winter, shoppers are lining up to buy sweaters, coats, and scarfs. Bathing suits aren’t needed when temperatures are below freezing. Unless you are off to a tropical island or are crazy enough to do the Polar Plunge into the frigid Atlantic.
Seasons are important to merchants. And they are even more critical to us.
In Ecclesiastes chapter three we learn a simple yet profound truth. There is a time for everything (Eccl. 3:1).
In life, we have seasons. What is appropriate during one time of our lives is inappropriate in another.
The Bible tells us that there is . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance (Eccl 3:4).
At a wedding we can expect dancing and laughter. My youngest daughter got married last month. She did a great job in planning her special day from the flowers, music, colors, and venue. And it turned out to be lots of fun.
When someone dies, we expect the opposite. My husband is a pastor and has conducted many funerals. And never once has he seen dancing at a funeral. Instead it is a time of tears, quietness, and reminiscing.
I know I do better if I accept the season I’m in not the one I want to be in.
When we face any type of devastating loss—a financial downturn, the break-up of a close relationship, a failed business, or a serious accident we experience deep sorrow. And we long for the pain to end. Yet day after day we struggle just to make it.
Grief must run its course. It is necessary to travel through a period of sadness, questioning, anger, low energy, tearfulness, and sleepless nights.
If we embrace the grief journey we will eventually reach the other side—allowing the tears to flow. The sun will shine again and we will once again feel more normal. But sometimes it isn’t that time yet.
Last fall, I glanced out my office and was shocked to see large black birds congregating on a nearby roof. Not just a few birds but a lot of birds. Hundreds of birds. It was rather eerie. The last time I saw this many birds was when I watched the Alfred Hitchcock thriller, The Birds. The movie that is responsible for the terror my generation feels when we see a flock of black birds.
God has built into these featured creatures when to gather for their flight south for the winter. These black birds know what time it is.
Embrace your season.
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