Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Life is seasonal, much like nature. We refer to youth as springtime, and winter is considered the latter stages of old age. In between youth and old age are various stages of gain and loss. "There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Adjusting to the seasons of life is one of life's great challenges. It is a challenge to remain humble and free of materialism during the adult seasons of gain and growth, but perhaps equally difficult is maintaining peace and optimism during later years of declining health and resources. Yet we can be sure that life holds each season - the season of gain, and the season of loss.

The writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us that everything is appropriate and beautiful in its proper time: "He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, without which man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end" (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

The seasons of life will seem senseless unless we view them from the perspective of eternity, which God has placed in our hearts. The seasons of gain and loss are mere pages in a large book which includes God's ultimate plan for eternity - life with Him on a renewed earth in the age to come.

A proper view of life's season and God's plans for eternity leads logically to the writer's conclusion: "I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one's lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor - it is the gift of God" (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13).

Much of life is a perplexing mystery. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is justice so rarely evident? Why do the wicked prosper, while the righteous suffer? All these are maddening questions and issues if not seen from the perspective of God's seasons. Due to human choice, we live in the season of sin - characterized by such injustices. But God's ultimate "season" is the age to come on earth, in which injustices will be rectified, and suffering eradicated. Temporary seasons only make sense from the perspective of the "season" of eternity.

Life includes seasons of gain and loss. The sooner we face that reality, the better off we will be. We will grow bitter through the seasons of life if we lose sight of eternity which God has placed in our hearts.

I pray that today be a season of gain, but more importantly, I pray that you grow strong through whatever season you find yourself in today. Whether adversity or prosperity, it is life's season, and all of life is a gift from God to be savored and appreciated.


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