Time for all things…

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet 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 ‭NLT‬‬)

A wise man pen these words so long ago we would term then ancient/eons years ago! Yet, we are told, “Wisdom was a popular genre in the ancient world.” I began to wonder is Wisdom popular in modern culture? We often claim so. These very Words of Ecclesiastes penned by a person of Wisdom is often read at ceremonies or gatherings to delight the emotions of the moment.

 

Why am I doubting my belief in these words? My mind and actions answer before words appear. When a long awaited “something” good happens and I like it. I having muttering thoughts, why so long, I know it’s someone else’s fault I’v missed all this good, etc etc. How often have I stopped to say, “the timing is right?”

 

Or a “can’t get what I want when I want” I pause to say thank you God for this season/timing when not right for me to have my yearning fleshly desires NOW? I might put a patch on my spiritual wisdom eye and go it alone to prove I can.

Scholars disagree about the themes of Ecclesiastes: whether it is positive and life-affirming, or deeply pessimistic;…What do you think? Does your actions show your belief? I think even using a sliding grade still shows I fail often.

I grew up with this teaching, What messes us up most in life is the picture in our head of how we think it’s suppose to be.

17 thoughts on “Time for all things…

  1. As I read this and thought on it and the questions Sara asks at the end, I kept thinking, on the question, “What time do you have?” from the chapter ‘The Sundial’ in one of Sara’s retreat books, “Dressing for His Glory”. There was a picture of a watch and a sundial near that question. Looking it up, I found that Eccl. 3:1-8 was a major theme in the chapter. And the objectives of the lesson were: “To Value Time by 1. Knowing the Seasons, 2. Seeing the Shadow of Life, 3. Watching the Sun, and 4. Self-awareness. These were followed by Eph 5:16-17, “Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.”

    Sara asks, “Scholars disagree about the themes of Ecclesiastes: whether it is positive and life-affirming, or deeply pessimistic;…What do you think? Does your actions show your belief?”

    I think it is pessimistic in the sense of the meaning, ‘gloomy and joyless’ when I can’t tell the time or season and am out of step with the timing of the Lord. At the times when I have been able to “grasp what the will of the Lord is”, then it is life-affirming. I am usually not able to do this on my own. I am grateful for Sara’s teaching, seeing and discernment gifts that guide and help me ‘tell time’ as well as the prayers of others.

    “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” I think this requires really entering a rest and rhythm with the Lord and having the understanding and obedience to cooperate with Him in this timing. I think my actions and belief have a long way to go.

    1. Following my understanding of Debi’s penned thoughts I’m at the table, The Apostle Paul, so eloquently instructed the church to do by being a part of…

      “God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
      —1 Corinthians 12:24-27 (NIV)

      This past week as Impeachment trial of The President of these UNITED States was drawing near closing we saw and heard what seems like a win might be in favor of The President. Not over yet. Surely, if the world ever needed the voice of Paul, the Apostle, we need it.

      It seems there are Christian leaders and their followers praying for WIN regardless of facts. I’m saying that because the Senate voted we will not allow what the other side considers relevant witnesses. OK, that’s not in my voting power so I will leave that as if it were high power gov’t church business. I’m using “church” because some mega church leaders and maybe others (usually small ones has no honor they are weak because no $’s) are leading the way often times in their TV appearances and some anchoring opinion shows. OK maybe Christians are saying good to have Christians speaking out and we might have agreement in that thought but maybe not.

      Here’s where I get greatly confused, the Christian (*Evangelical type) side spending their TV airtime saying what they are calling the losing side, ”those losers are big time humiliated now. Laughing, mocking and enjoying hearing their own voices it seems.

      Would Paul say to these boasters, where is your humility? Where is your grace? Where is your love?

      I find myself holding my own court as both judge and jury how to square humiliating others vs humility?

      *If you remember when the Catholic Speaker of the House said she was praying for country and President….the President mocked her desire and ability to pray. I’m not an advocate for either side. I’m trying to judge myself to see if I’m a Christian and what in the world do I believe and practice?

      1. “Would Paul say to these boasters, where is your humility? Where is your grace? Where is your love?” Sara asks.

        From what I have read of Paul and his character and priorities, he would have. I don’t think these virtues would have taken a back seat to anyone’s agenda or getting what you want.

      2. James A. Harnish, “Extraordinary Ministry in Ordinary Time: An Invitation to Renewal for Pastors”, writes:

        “HUMILITY IS NOT pretending to think less of ourselves but thinking more of others. Relating to people with reverent humility means that we value them as one-of-a-kind creations whose ordinary human lives contain something of the extraordinary image of God—even the people who are most difficult. Reverent humility enables us to listen.”

  2. The first line for me says it all, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity UNDER HEAVEN.” This says to me heaven will be different. There will be no such thing as time in heaven. So, It is positive and life affirming as I know and am assured what lays before me. However, we are here and not there yet.

    Thank you Debi for referencing Sara’s retreat study “Dressing for His Glory” I love the objectives brought forth focusing on the scripture Ecclesiastes 3: 1 – 8. Debi as you have already noted, Sara is woman of wisdom and uses Her gift of words very effectively.

    Referenced by Debi from Sara retreat study.
    “To Value Time by 1. Knowing the Seasons, 2. Seeing the Shadow of Life, 3. Watching the Sun, and 4. Self-awareness. These were followed by Eph 5:16-17, “Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.

    I have come to the point God’s timing is perfect, mines NOT. So as a child of God, I pray as I step in His steps in the sands of earth, I will be firmly setting my feet in His tracks instead of falling down, or going outside the boundaries. I pray I will stand and listen to Him when he says, let’s go over here, someone needs help, or someone needs love – real love, or some people need to be directed in a different way and I will tell you the Words to speak and hopefully they will look up and see me or there will be no path for them.. Or let’s stop here as it’s time for you to speak truth, and I’m here to tell you what to speak. Psalm 37:23 KJV says, “The steps of a good man (woman) are ordered by the Lord: and he delighted in his way.”

    1. I read recently about various ways to keep one’s mind active and healthy and one way was putting puzzles 🧩🧩🧩together. Sounded good to me. I love puzzles. 🧩🧩🧩There were times I would start a puzzle 🧩and leave on a nearby table where people entering my home for family and community gatherings could pause and add a few 🧩🧩🧩pieces here and there. Some might call this ice breakers or help thwart idle talk that at times could become a
      river. My efforts to find an interesting puzzle and share was a winner in my home and church. Others would go so far as turn them into wall hangings with glue and frames.

      Over time and seasons of life I discovered another joy of puzzle solving. Often we see the box cover photo of given scriptures. Yet, getting the parts🧩 to connect takes time and the gift of others to see and experience the beauty of God’s Grace hung in space by love.✝️

      My connecting and puzzle solving involves what I have termed, “stair stepping scriptures.” We do a great job of puzzle making right here @Lily. Our puzzles, our gardens, our homes and our faithfulness to faith +obedience =love

      So I add my stepping stones for climb to Debi and Rena’s comments….
      “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”
      —-Psalms‬ ‭90:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬
      “Fill us full every morning with your faithful love
      so we can rejoice and celebrate our whole life long.”—Psalm 90:14 (CEB)

  3. The footnotes for Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 in the NLT says: “ Timing is important. All the experiences listed in these verses are appropriate at certain times. The secret to peace with God is to discover, accept, and appreciate God‘s perfect timing. The danger is to doubt or resent God’s timing. This can lead to despair, rebellion, or moving ahead without his advice.”

  4. I wrote earlier in my comment, “I find myself holding my own court as both judge and jury how to square humiliating others vs humility?”

    And, I read a truth that might help square my circle. “What does God ask of us? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.” —Micah 6:8

    If I pray but don’t act justly, I give no mercy, and I don’t walk humbly but love humiliating others to champagne popping my pride will my results will be my faith won’t bear fruit?

    Am I the only one having trouble trying to live out faith with no guile? I hope I don’t harbor and hide a wine cellar in my heart that bottles a wine called “guile.”

    1. “I find myself holding my own court as both judge and jury how to square humiliating others vs humility?”

      Sara, wrote above, “Surely, if the world ever needed the voice of Paul, the Apostle, we need it.” Reading some of Paul’s words in Phil. 2: 3,4, It seems hard to ‘square humiliating others vs humility”. Paul advised, “Don’t act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves. Don’t be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others.”

      Sara, your thoughts and writings about humiliating vs humility and other related things above also bring my thoughts back to the last lesson on Judges we heard here on the Lily https://thedailylily.com/2019/07/08/judges-lesson-33-reggie-webb-2/#comments. The last sentence in the last book seemed to explain a lot of things…”everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)

  5. Another, “ this you were called…it seems we don’t need to stress over knowing our duties when we are God’s children. I’m still mind sturring over, do I believe all these things on the level I thought I did? It seems when I look beyond my child like faith these Royal callings look old fashion when I follow rich powerful politicians of Christian persuasions. Help somebody?

    “…this you were called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His footsteps: 22) “He committed no sin, and no guilt was found in His mouth.” 23) When they heaped abuse on Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats, but entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.…” I Peter 2:21-23

  6. Puzzles to me Sara are very difficult for me. I’d never get to the wall hanging without someone helping me. My grandson who is five loves to see me struggle when he sees how all fit together. His smile and dimples say it all.
    I’m very grateful to you Sara for figuring out the turns and twist of my life and it seems to me a time when you focused in and zapped your energy completely. What a friend who has walked the Jesus walk being The Good Samaritan, sewing up the wounds of life and having others on our ministry team to further heal the soul through prayer and even the help of your sons when it seemed to be an impossible situation. Their words of help and care still bring tears at their generosity and carry of needs which seemed to be forthcoming. God’s kindness and love through others who listen to God.
    Now a new season has come. God gave me a beautiful home just for me. Flowers I plant for others to see and painting which has been a gift of God to touch others for Him. Also the gift of teaching young children I’ve been blessed with so the children to see and hear the voice of God and act on what he says to do.
    In this season of my life God has a few more lessons to teach me. It seems the area around my home has been building up disturbing the habitat of rodents and other critters who have decided that my home is a wonderful place to get warm and cozy. However chewing on water pipes causes destruction to the home. God provided a supervisor who worked for a building company and he knows this house which was no accident. I say that is a God wink. This season has taught me many things. God has a reason and is giving me a lesson of life that it is not all about me. Yes, he has sent many people to help in prayer and physical labor. I’m very appreciative. However I have not appreciated the water which flows freely through our pipes while others look and search for clean water and a lot of it is not even clean enough to drink. I’ve learned to greatly appreciate water, a gift from God, and be some what more conservative with the use of it. The lessons would not have been experienced except the rats sliced through the waterlines.
    God is so good to show me this season of life not to take our wonderful resources for granted. It makes me remember all that my parents went through to get water and I never heard a complaint and didn’t even think about how they got it. Upon reflecting, my Dad was able to use a peach limb and God gave him the gift with the peach limb to find water.
    Yes, a new season and still lessons to learn and how people are praying for this part of my Journey to end. Other lessons I’m sure lay ahead and I know that through God gifts others will help me put His puzzle together like like from five year olds and up.
    I give thanks to thedailylily team, the BSF group, my church, and all the people who come and tirelessly worked and are fixing my home. God bless each and everyone.

    1. Rena, as I journey along with you in this season you are going through while reading your post I am reminded how a song Sherman would so often solo in our Church services. This song just seems you at this season…

      “Give thanks with a grateful heart
      Give thanks to the Holy One
      Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

      And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
      Let the poor say, “I am rich
      Because of what the Lord has done for us”

      I give thanks for you! 🙏🏻

  7. Rena, as I read your thoughts and appreciation words about water as well as your comment that “others look and search for clean water”, I was reminded of a great project that The Daily Lily was involved in to help “provide clean water wells to the woman and children in Africa” a few years ago.

    Thanks to Chris Mar and CustomInk (https://www.customink.com/), the Lily was able to “create a CustomInk campaign” to “dig clean water wells in Africa”.
    https://thedailylily.com/2013/04/04/be-an-angel-buy-an-angel/

    It is easy for me to take for granted our plentiful supply of water and forget that mothers have to walk many miles just to get to a well, and then have to carry what they can back home for their families.

  8. Please pray for Rena’s wisdom and schedule as she works to rebuild her home from the water damage. Seems much more involved tp find all the damage and skilled companies to repair. Thank you.

  9. Lord please give Rena wisdom to know what to do to “rebuild her home from the water damage.” Help her with her schedule and with scheduling the necessary repairs as well as “skilled companies” that can complete the job timely, and correctly so she experiences no more issues.

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