My whole life, I've heard my mother quote Ecclesiastes 3:1. I heard it so much that I honestly never even gave any thought to it. It wasn't until I was a sophomore in college that I finally understood what it meant. You see, I've lived a fairly sheltered life. Up until my sophomore year of college, I had never really lost anyone close to me. I got a call very early one morning - a friend had taken his own life. It shook me to my very core. I couldn't believe what I had heard. I called my mom that morning to seek her wisdom. The words that came through the phone were words I had heard for the last 20 years, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the heavens." For the first time, I understood what that meant. Life, as I would soon find out, is rough. It's hard and unnerving. It's terrifying. Thankfully for us, nothing here on earth lasts forever.
Seasons come and go, but we don't really give them much thought. We welcome fall after a brutal summer, after fall we get completely beside ourselves over Christmas, and then it's a waiting game until Spring. Spring - where everything comes back to life and the sun shines for longer than just a handful of hours. It's the turning of the seasons, the passing of time, that we need to take away from Ecclesiastes 3:1.
"To everything there is a season...": We don't know why God puts horrible things in our lives, but he does promise us this... it will pass. Winter is miserable. It's grey, cold, and dreary. The only good thing about winter is that it is immediately chased by spring. There's hope on the other side. In life, things are going to be horrible, you're going to be miserable, stuff is going to be really stinking hard, but it won't last forever. It's not meant for us to understand these things, but we can take comfort in the fact that, "this too shall pass."
"... a time for every purpose under the heavens.": God's timing is perfect. It's really hard for us to trust him and wrap our minds around that fact. He doesn't give an explanation as to why he does most things. It seems that God has a way of doing things we don't understand quite a bit. That's on purpose. If we were to know God in and out, would we still need him? He has a time for everything he does, and a purpose behind it. Sometimes we'll never actually see the outcome of that purpose - and that's the hardest part. We try to look for God's purpose behind terrible things that happen, but frankly, we're too human to see it. God has had a perfect plan set in motion since he made this place. We might not ever understand his timing or his purpose, but if we trust him, he'll bring us out on the other side. You might be battered and worn. You might be exhausted and confused. You might doubt your very salvation, but we MUST have faith to believe that it's all in God's hands. His plans are so beyond us that we'll never be able to understand him.
We have to give the seasons of our lives over to God. We have to give those periods of time that we don't understand to him. We're not strong enough to understand all he has planned for us. Fall is just beginning, you might be in for a rough ride through this winter, but take hope, spring will be here before you know it. God promises us that.
We may not ever know his reasons, but to everything there is a season.