Over this Lenten season, the Spiritual Formation team at First Presbyterian Church in Bend put a call out to all to submit writings for a Lenten Devotional. I will do my best to post those here daily. You can also go to our website and access all of the devotions on a pdf file.
Here is the next submission:
To Everything There Is A Season…
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
I chose this as my “life verse” in the 80s. Not only is the scripture eloquent and poetic, all-encompassing of life as I know it, but it has rung in my ears, strengthening my resolve, and been brought to mind by the Holy Spirit countless times in my life’s circumstances and hours of need.
What strikes me most assuredly about the Truth of these words is the testament they bring of the Holy Governing Thought that set forth His Creation! God so ordered and ordained all aspects of life… to have their appointed purpose, appropriate time, assigned season. How comforting!
Personal trial, hardship, temptation… the valleys, the desert, the wilderness seasons… always a deeper divine purpose and perfect timing for these in our lives. Difficult seasons in life bring forth fruits of the spirit if we choose to walk in His Way, follow in His Footsteps, grow by His Teachings. We become “seasoned” by life’s hard lessons, seasoned in compassion, patience, humility, wisdom and understanding toward His other children and ourselves, seasoned in completely trusting Him. We seek His direction, His blessing, His hand of deliverance in our burden. We long for a closer walk with Him when we are lost, suffering or downcast. I am truly thankful to a merciful Lord who has shown, and continues to show, me how to suffer graciously that I may be molded and shaped to more closely resemble Him. How Loving is our God toward His children, to prune and transform us through Christ, as Christ was transformed through His own suffering, transforming the world for all time!
Seasons of joy, dancing, seasons of easy blessing, comfort, redemption, bounty, provision, healing… bring us to our knees in gratitude, praise and worship! Our Lord loves us so very much, despite our shortcomings, and blesses us beyond all that we can imagine. “A time for every purpose…”
There is such unfathomable orderliness and balance in His world! Even when we think it’s gone completely mad and in utter chaos, when we think we’re beyond His Grace–His unconditional love, His supreme sovereignty rule absolute over all His universe. Christ’s journey to and on the cross at Calvary is an amazing case in point! The unfathomable, unsurpassed, unconditional Love of God! Everywhere! In every season.
Prayer: Lord, let us even partially glimpse Your Immense Love for us. You have called each according to Your purpose. Your Holy Word lights our path. Help us imagine how Your amazing boundless Grace abounded to Your Son in His final footsteps to The Cross! Though Jesus felt forsaken momentarily, He was not! At the worst possible, most unimaginably difficult seasons, as in the feasts of thanksgiving, God is with us! Emmanuel! As ugly as the Crucifixion was, the Glory of the Resurrection is our joy!