“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which 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 of war, and a time of peace. What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboreth? I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He hath made every thing beautiful in His time: also He hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-13
Not so long ago, I was struggling with my emotions about the things that seemingly had been going wrong in my life. I quietly kept that to myself, but The Lord wanted me to confront them and learn to control my reactions to them. He spoke through a strong sister in Christ who insisted she needed to share with me a message.
I was skeptical, because I didn’t really know her. She was a friend of friend, so I balked, but my friend called me and left a message that said I could run from The Lord, but I could not hide, and that I had to come to dinner to hear her out. So, after prayer, and consideration for what I then knew of God and how He chooses to operate through us toward one another, I went.
When I got there, I was a little late, but they had faith that I would come because this was from The Lord, they knew it, and they knew He was dealing with me. They had set a place, though everyone else had eaten, and they had made me a plate which was waiting for me. I was amazed. So, after introductions, and some small talk, and before I could actually eat, this sister in Christ pulled out her Bible and turned to Ecclesiastes.
She placed her Bible before me and pointed to verse one of chapter three and asked me to begin reading it, so I started to, and she stopped me and said, “out loud.”
I looked at her for a moment, because I didn’t understand where this was going, but I then obliged, and I don’t recall getting very far before I got choked up and could not continue. I had to wipe the tears and blow my nose. At that moment, while I was regathering myself, I noticed that my friend and her husband were crying with me, and this lady, this elder in The Lord, said simply, “He knows what you need. He knows. Keep reading.”
So, I gathered myself and read through to the thirteenth verse and she told me to stop. She very calmly and softly told me that The Lord knew my struggle and that from that day forward, things were going to change. They did. My emotions became more controlled, and my reactions to the world around me were more tempered. I began to view all things properly, not just the big things, but all things.
I was shown that God ordains everything. He made all things to glorify Himself, and no matter how we try, there will always be a limit to what we may each understand. The world was put into our hearts when Sin entered the world, and so we all come into this world looking to it for answers, when we should be looking to God for our answers. Since we, without the discernment given by God via the indwelling Holy Spirit, cannot know the work He does, nor can we do it, because it is His work, we are made to know that God is sovereign. In all things, we are to submit to Him and to His will, because the work which He does is for our benefit, that we know Him better, and learn to trust in Him.
God wants us to realize this and hold onto the joy which He has given to us when we came to Him, because He is the only Source of constant and steady joy, stability, and peace. With this knowledge, we are to view everything we have properly. It is all given to us by Him, and so we are to see our own labors as serving Him. In this, we should rejoice and partake of the fruit of our own labors, because this is the gift of God!
Even our trials and tribulations are gifts from The Lord, that we may grow closer to Him, and be made moldable that we can be formed to be more like Christ. He is our ultimate Gift, and to be showered with more makes us abundantly blessed. This truly is the life more abundant.