Ecclesiastes 3 gives us a poetic description of the seasons of life. The author shows these seasons from our human perspectives. Therefore, we see the dark shadows of trouble and evil for each joyful time. There is a constant ebbing and flowing, waxing and waning, from one extreme to the other. And the repeating phrase of “a time…” gives us the sense of the monotony that comes with life. We spend a lifetime moving between these extremes in hopes of finding some sense of purpose in it all.
Seasons of Life
When we dig deeper, we discover something is missing from this description of the seasons of life. And, that missing element is where we find the joys of life. God is the key to turning the monotony of life into something meaningful. Without God, many experience drudgery in the worldly rat race of life. They look for fulfillment in their activities instead of the one that provides the opportunities. Man’s work is temporary, and anything he earns is given to others after his death.
In contrast, God’s works are continuous and eternal. They will last long after we have gone. We see an example of this in Psalm 119:89 (NIV); “Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.” When we focus our efforts on Godly activities, we find the joy that sustains us no matter the seasons of life. And we will receive an eternal blessing for those efforts.
God Gives us Purpose
We find that God makes the difference between living a life of vanity and emptiness or living a life of true fulfillment. God is the only one who can provide that for us during each of the seasons of life. God wants us to rejoice, do good, eat, drink, enjoy our work – in this life. But, we must recognize that everything is a gift from God. And we must keep our hearts set on His purposes. In doing so, He will bring everlasting joy to all the seasons of life.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
Lord, remind me these troubles are only for a season. For every time, there is a purpose, and I will not be in this storm forever. This storm will pass, and the sun will shine again. Yet, though this may be a time of difficulty, a time of peace and joy may be around the corner. I will wait for You, and I will always trust your timing and plans. Amen.