05 Dec Looking & Listening
I’ve been working through a teaching series lately called “Seasons”, where we’ve been looking at how God has set the earth to identify when certain seasons change. Depending on what part of the world you live in, you can tell by the weather when Fall turns to Winter … Winter to Spring … and so on.
God has also set into place different seasons in each of our lives, according to Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. God tells us there that there is a season for everything we experience or can experience under heaven. That would be BEFORE you get to heaven, in case you’re wondering what “under heaven” would indicate.
It’s helpful, in my opinion, to be on a regular lookout for what season of life you’re in at any given time. It can help us to distinguish if what we may be experiencing is of God, or of, say, the devil. I think we are sometimes a little too quick to blame the devil for some of what we experience in life, when God is wanting to do something fresh in us even when life hurts.
For instance, how many people (read: Christians) have asked you how you’re doing, only to have you choose to be honest and let them know you’re not doing all that great; then to have them toss it back at you with something that makes you sound or feel like a faith-less, whining, sniveling, aardvark (or anything else that crawls close to the ground)?
Uh-huh … just what I thought … it’s happened to you too. Sometimes, again, in my opinion, we’re too quick to blame the devil for something unique God is doing in our lives.
Let me be clear: I do NOT believe that God is the author of confusion, nor that He tempts us, nor that He makes bad things happen (enough of those things happen on their own or because of my own bad decisions, folks!), nor that He wills for us to wallow in self-pity.
That said, I DO believe His Word, which declares just as strongly as anything else that …
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
I just recently had an amazing thing take place. A close friend of mine who had left my life a few years ago because of a significant disagreement we had at the time came back into my life. Now, those words don’t do justice to how amazing this is to me! I can’t put how I feel into words in reality.
We’ve talked alot about how much we missed each other over these last years. We spend time together quite a bit and talk more often now than we did before the split in our friendship.
When we reconnected, I didn’t know I would be doing this series. As the Lord began to develop it in my heart, and I took a new look at the Scripture above, in a very fresh way, I saw with my heart, “a time to tear and a time to mend”.
One of the things my friend and I have asked each other is, “how come this took so long? Couldn’t this have happened sooner?” Maybe; but maybe not. As we look back, the separation needed to happen for this couples life for alot of reasons. Maybe it needed to happen for mine too; I don’t know.
I do know that the Lord has brought that phrase to life in this friendship for me … “a time to tear and a time to mend” … this is our time to mend and learn from each other more about Who God is as He is shaping us both. I don’t understand all of God’s ways. I’m just glad He is always involved, no matter the season I’m in!