There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toils — this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear Him. Ecclesiastes 3:1, 9-14
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This is a strange passage.
Ecclesiastes is a strange book.
Many parts seem negative. This chapter starts with a list of all the seasons we have to endure in life. It also clearly points out the burden of our toil, and the seemingly lack of gain from it. We ask ourselves: “Why do I have to go through this?” “What is the point of what I’m doing?"
Honestly, these are the questions I have been asking myself for a while now. I am not in a “good” season. I’m in a hard one. I don’t even feel like I should be writing this devotion because it is coming from a place of utter brokenness, loneliness, and confusion.
I wish I could snap my fingers and understand how this part of my life plays into the glorious picture of God’s Kingdom. I wish I could create a new season for myself, one of joy and celebration. But I know that these things would not lead me closer to Christ, though they seem easier.
There is a time for everything. Each point of our lives serves a purpose, and that purpose can only be met in the path that God has placed us on, difficult or easy. The things He wishes us to learn and do in each season can only be done then; they cannot be profitable outside of that time table.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. This is the promise. His sovereignty is creating a beautiful masterpiece of our lives. Woven throughout our peaks and valleys is a story of His goodness and faithfulness. Our stories will be complete in Him.
Sometimes I think of verse 11, “If I just wait, everything will be perfect and exactly how I want. So I’ll just wait for God to fix it.” Yet, I do not believe this verse is about circumstances, but instead, about His many promises to us. We do not understand beauty. What we think is beautiful and right for us, may not be. God’s standard of beauty is Himself.
He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. We will not fully grasp the gain from each season until eternity. We are not capable of even imagining the grand ways of God. This seems frustrating, but it is what creates trust in Him and His plans.
We can trust that in every season, He will keep His promises - the beauty of the fulfillment of Christ in us, nothing added, nothing taken away. Each segment of our lives will ultimately point to Him, and there is the beauty.
God’s story is one of miraculous beauty, and we each have a significant part to play. We can begin trusting today that the beauty in our seasons is, in fact, Him.
Let that be enough for you today.
Kate, Declare Glory
Today's Image from God's Fingerprints: