You may have heard the song Turn Turn, by the Byrds at least a 1,000 times. It’s a catchy tune. It got me thinking though. I can’t help but ask the question, is there really a time for everything? Is there really a purpose for everything under heaven?
It is easy for me to say “yes” when I am looking at someone else’s life. I can encourage them to have hope and believe that there is a purpose for what they are going through. However, when I look at my own life, I’m not so sure. When I am the one feeling the hurt and disappointment, and dealing with the pain and anger, I question life. I question God. What are some of the things you lean on as different seasons of life come your way?
When this song was written in 1965 it was the first year of the Vietnam War. Men were being drafted, protests were taking place over more than 40 cities worldwide and the picture was bleak in hopes of the war being a quick one. There was great need in finding hope in the midst of what life had served up. Have you ever been there? Perhaps, you are currently trying to find the silver lining in the tragic, painful, and hurting circumstances of your life. Are you sifting through the rubble of life in order to find a grain of hope?
Where can you and I run when we need a larger perspective? Who’s comfort can we sprint to? Is there a mountain we can stand on, look across the plains of life, and gain a solid perspective on the “how" or even the “ why" of your life? I decided to look up the Byrds’ lyrics and what the song was based on. It comes out of the book of Ecclesiastes.
Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:
1 There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to rebuild.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to lose. A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak up.
8 A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.
What do you pursue or use to help bring meaning to your life? How do you make it work? After reading Ecclesiastes, here are some conclusions I have come to.
There is a season for every life activity under heaven.
There is a season for everything. What is a season? A season indicates to us that there is a beginning and an end. There is a beginning and an end to the great things in life as well as the most hopeless of times. Our lives will not always be great, happy, joyful, and full of blessings. On the other hand, they will not always be full of hurt, hopelessness, miserable feelings, and depression. They will be both. Even our deepest dreams and desires have seasons. You and I are destined to go through seasons. You will always have highs and lows in life. Period. But they have great purpose! They are NOT meaningless! If anything they are short, like a vapor, a puff of smoke.
We live in a day and time where we search for a utopia or perfect life that is free from pain, hurt, disappointment, or rejection. We may ask ourselves and others, “Why is this happening to me?” We will all go through seasons in life. Unfortunately, no one is exempt.
God has his proper time for every life event and it’s beautiful.
You and I may not feel like the events that are taking place in our lives are beautiful. In fact, they may be quite ugly and painful. The seasons that we are living out in our lives are bringing forth a beautiful picture of God’s plan for humanity, even if we can’t see it. These life events, together over time, have lasting significance. Breathe in what God is sending your way. It has great purpose. Take a risk and trust Him.
Life experiences take place to turn our hearts to God.
Life takes place to turn our hearts to God. You may ask yourself “why are these things happening to me?” and the answer is the same, even if you are asking the question because you feel blessed. You may not want God to turn your heart towards Him, but the reality is He desires to have a relationship with you. He desires to have your heart and for you to experience His love in a very real and deep way.
Life is the same for all of humanity.
Life was the same for my parents as it is for me and it will be the same for my children. People and the world operate the same way, they just have different circumstances or environments to shape them. It is the same for all generations. We have all heard the saying “History repeats itself.” Life repeats itself because there are certain “truths” that take place no matter what generation you live in or will live in. Our world operates with day and night, seasons, time, and experiences.
So, how do we live when life doesn’t work? We keep living. We keep living in the mundane details of life to the incredible experiences that you want on hold to forever. We understand and trust that there is a bigger perspective than we have now and that it is a beautiful one. We take a risk and trust a loving God, even when we are certain we are not loved. There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven.
Take a deep breath. Focus on those things that are life-giving to you. Something in your life is coming to an end and something else is just beginning.
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