Although it is officially Fall, we are quickly approaching winter. Beyond the joyful time of Christmas and New Years Eve celebrations, I don’t like winter. The days are cold and dark. It seems the winter season last forever. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, we are in for a rough winter with plenty of snow and cold temperatures. Yeah, I don’t like winter! I will be looking for and be anticipating Tuesday, March 20 – the official start of Spring. In the Spring, my attention turns to warmer weather, baseball and golf. Unfortunately, springtime is still four months away. In thinking about the seasons, I think there is a metaphoric similarity between the earthly seasons and the seasons of our lives. Springtime would be when things are new – salvation or new beginnings in our lives such as the birth of a child, a new job, or a new home. Summertime is when things are joyful and life is going well. It’s a time when we feel blessed by the Father and we can sense His presence. Fall time is a mixed bag – some things are wonderful and beautiful; some things are difficult and hard. Then, there is winter. A time in our lives when nothing is going right. It’s a place of darkness and abandonment. A time when we don’t sense the presence of God. A time when we feel lonely and afraid. Yet, within the despair and darkness, there is good news. I am reminded and encouraged by the wise words of King Solomon, “For everything, there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Eccles. 3:1). King Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes near the end of his reign. So, Ecclesiastes 3:1 is a reflection of how the seasons of life change. I would like to make a few brief points. First, the word “season” (זְמָ֑ן) means an appointed time. Solomon goes on to mention numerous couplets to stress the opposing times of life. Everything in life has an opposing element. Birth and death, sorrow and joy, hatred and love, etc. These are all appointed to mankind. They are inescapable. Second, the word “matter” (חֵ֫פֶץ) refers to something that happens. The reference can be either good or bad. But, again these are unavoidable. So, why am I encouraged by Solomon’s words? Because I know whatever season I am in right now, it will change. I will not remain in a bad situation forever. So, be encouraged! You will laugh again. God will turn the season when the time is right!
In Christ, Pastor Mike