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.
9 What do workers gain from their toil?
10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.
11 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.
12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.
13 That each of them may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.
For those of you who do not know this is the third chapter of Ecclesiates 3:1-13
This chapter says it all – There is a time for everything a season for every activity under the heavens. That includes being born, dying, planting and uprooting. A time to kill, to heal to tear down and to build. A time to weep a time to laugh – to mourn and to dance, and the list goes on.
This chapter has so much meaning if one just stops and thinks about it.
With the toxic environment we are now living in, the chapter more than ever rings true. Fear will kill a person much quicker than any disease; it causes the blood pressure to rise, the heart to beat out of control, the lungs to run in overdrive and the mind to explode with “What if’s”.
We as humans are our own worst enemy. We panic when we listen to the Media and Politicians, because we believe that what they say is gospel, and yet we refuse to believe what we are told in the Bible. The only non-lying source around. We put our faith in the human condition instead of the Almighty God in heaven.
We foolishly believe that man is in control and we refuse to believe that God is all knowing. We rely on our own devices instead of putting our faith to work when we are tested. We are great at talking the talk and slack at walking the walk. We allow fear and the unknown to dictate our lives instead of our faith in God. We talk about God’s will and how he answers prayers, then turn around and panic when we are hit with trials from the Devil. We spout how great our faith is and then put it on a shelf when the Devil gives us more than we think we can handle.
At a time in life when we as God’s children should be banding together, praying, singing and standing strong, we are hiding behind the doors of our fear. Yes, God gave us common sense, but he also told us to have faith – even when it is tested. Job lost everything, but never once did he lose his faith. Ester was asked to Approach the King on behalf of her people, that meant death if he did not acknowledge her, never once did she lose her faith. Joseph was sold by his brothers, yet never once did he lose his faith. Abraham was told to sacrifice his son and when his sone asked where the sacrifice was, Abraham said God will provide. Never once did he lose his faith.
We are at a crossroad in our faith. Do we allow this panic to shake our faith, or do we stand strong and allow God to show his power? Do we believe the hype, or do we turn to the one who has all the answers?
I can only answer for myself; it is up to each of you to answer for yourself in your heart. Do you just talk the talk, or do you have the courage to walk the walk? I can only answer for myself; you have to answer for yourself.
I have the faith in God that he has the long-range plan, that he knows all and that nothing is going to happen or not happen that is not in that plan. That includes a time to be born, a time to die. I challenge each of you to examine your lives to think about these things and to ask yourself the hard questions. Is your faith something you put on like a coat on Sunday or is it something you wear every day? If the answer is a Sunday thing – you might want to re-evaluate your life.
Today this came across my newsfeed, “The Butterfly does not look back at the caterpillar in shame, just as you should not back at your past in shame. Your past was part of your transformation.”
In our daily lives we find we spend way too much time revisiting the past. We feel we have to drag it around like a ball and chain and hold on to it like a bad participating trophy. We use it to beat ourselves up with when we fall on our faces. We make it define who we are instead of who we became and where we are going. Unlike the butterfly who once is released from the cocoon flies away and never looks back. It never thinks about who it was before it was transformed into a butterfly.
Nature gives us so many examples of how to let go of the past and to move on with what we have today. Nature never looks back; it just moves forward. It never thinks about what happened five minutes ago. It doesn’t dwell on those things which it cannot change. It is not defined by its past, even though it has defining moments. Without the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly there would be no future. It would still be just a caterpillar following the same path it started on. The beauty would be lost, the freedom to fly would not happen.
Dare to be a butterfly. Dare to step out and up. Dare to leave the past where it belongs. Dare to fly.
I just read an interesting statement. It went something like this “You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of that choice.” This is something I have said to my children since the day they were old enough to understand the spoken word.
As we think about the things that are currently being discussed within our family, we must prayerfully think about all the possible consequences both intended and unintended. Sometimes when we are in the trenches of a decision, we tend to look past what we think is right or what we believe we should accomplish.
While I am a creative person and think with the right side of my brain, I also tend to think on the logic side due to the OCD factor. I will analyze a problem from all sides in a non-emotional way. The reason is simple with my background, if it walks like a duck, talk like a duck and looks like a duck, it is a duck.
When Jesus was brought before Pilot, the crowd had already been whipped into a frenzy due to emotion and not logic. Yes, it was pre-ordained, however, there was no logic involved, it was all emotion.
In major decisions no matter if it is in personal, business or even spiritual, it must be met with logic and detailed thought processes.
Yes, we are free to choose, but we are not free from the consequences intended or non-intended. I ask that much prayer and study and thought both pro and con go into the process. That all emotion be removed, and that logic is used to reach a decision that is scriptural, beneficial and meets the needs of all involved. This is not about one person, one opinion or even one act. This decision will affect this family for years to come.
“I was at the grocery store this morning and heard a loud crash and something shattering. Being nosy, I walked towards the sound and saw some people whispering and looking back to the end of the next aisle. When I walked down that aisle, I saw an older lady had hit a shelf containing dishes with her cart and many had fallen to the ground and broke. She was kneeling on the floor embarrassed, frantically picking up the shattered pieces, while her husband was peeling off the bar code from each broken dish saying, “Now we will have to pay for all this!”
I felt so bad for her, and everyone was just standing there staring at her!! I went and knelt beside her and told her not to worry and started helping her pick up the broken pieces. After about a minute, the store manager came and knelt beside us and said, “Leave it, we will clean this up. Let’s get your information so you can go to the hospital and have that cut on your hand looked at.”
The lady, totally embarrassed said, “I need to pay for all this first.” The manager smiled, helped her to her feet and said, “No ma’am, we have insurance for this, you do not have to pay anything!”
I have read this story many times and it never fails to send its message to me.
We are all broken. And yet, we pay no price for our repairs. That price has already been paid. We just have to accept the check and take the action of putting it in the bank. We will never be able to repay the bill. However, we can invest in the account. No matter our age, educational level, or experience or lack thereof, we can and must invest in the account, because we are no longer broken.
If we look around us, at nature, from the plant life to the animal kingdom, to the sky above us we see a balance. Everything has a place, a purpose and a beginning and an end. Everything depends on the other for not only survival but balance.
When we look at man, sadly, the same thing is not true. There is no balance even though the design is already there. We overwork, overeat, over think, over everything. We destroy that which should take care of us. We do not replenish those things we use. We waste those things which we should cherish and we horde those things which can, and most times do us harm. We are not cautious in our lives, nor do we learn from our bad decisions.
How many of us use these phrases in conversation and don’t even realize that we have made the statements, “Someday, I will…. Someday I want to…., Someday I need too.. Somebody needs to…. Someody should….” And the list goes on.
I too have been caught up in the same wheel of phrases. It was a lesson learned in a very hard way. I found out the somedays ran out, the Somebodies were me. I had to find balance. I had to understand that everyone has the same 24 hours in their lives. How we manage those 24 hours is where we either find our balance or make it off balance.
As we start a new year, may we make it a goal to find balance, to understand that someday is now, that some one is us.
In the study of Jezebel, we learned that while she was an evil, cunning, powerful and manipulative person who worshiped an idol, she was grounded in her faith. So grounded that she killed those she could not convert.
The point is this, how many of us are so grounded in our faith that we have tunnel vision. We truly believe in God and his divine power. A faith so strong it cannot be shaken. A faith that can be seen by others in our daily lives. A faith so strong that no one can doubt it.
While Jezebel, was a worshipper of an idol, she lived her faith. She stood by it and even died because of it. Yes, she was cruel, she was a non- believer in God, she taunted the prophet. But she believed.
The lesson I personally took from our study was it takes courage to stand up for one’s faith. It takes strength to withstand the storms of life and it takes knowledge to understand when we are wrong and are willing to change. Jezebel had all those tools and yet she refused to place her faith in the right place. The end results were she not only lost her husband in battle; she lost her own life by the very hands of her servants who threw out of a window.
Let’s learn from her mistakes. Let us keep our faith in God and his love for us, his plan and his vision. Let each of us stay grounded in our faith unshaken and unmovable.