Ecclesiastes 3 fascinates me and apparently it fascinated the 60’s super group The Byrds too. They even wrote a song based on the scripture, though they made into a political statement and thus conveniently took something out of context from the Bible…imagine that?? That never happens right? I’m not here to pick on The Byrds, in fact I actually really like the song “Turn Turn Turn.” I’m writing about the fact that as humans and especially Christ followers, we actually live out our lives in seasons regardless of how "forever" we tend make things seem in our minds.
Seasons are really nothing more than a periods of time that we each go through. For instance, I’m in a learning season in my ministry. I’m having to try new things, make mistakes, learn from those mistakes and work on improving them for next time. Does that resonate with anyone? I’ve been in seasons where I was on “cruise control” where everything was smooth sailing and I could relax a little more about things since everything in my life seemed to be going well. I’ve also had seasons where I thought I was going to literally die. Everything was collapsing around me and all hope seemed lost. Certainly I’m not the only one that has had those same seasons?
I think the most important part of going through a season is to recognize that you are actually in a season and that the condition you are in and the circumstances you face are in fact, only for a that season. They are not in it forever as the pessimistic part of your brain would tell you. The evil one loves to stoke the fire of pessimism. He wants steal your joy anytime he can so if he can make you believe that you will never get out of a “bad” season he certainly will. John 10:10 pretty much sums up Satan’s MO.
In ministry, I’ve noticed that many times you are inundated with people who are seeking help or need an ear to talk to because they are in a "rough" season. Less often you get the opportunity to talk to people in “good” seasons simply because they have no complaints and the need to talk to people about it is less necessary. The trouble with with being in a good season is that we tend to not appreciate it when we are. We tend to not pray and thank God for the good season we are in. Call it complacency or call it pride but what ever the reason, I think we miss a great opportunity when we don’t praise God for the good seasons.
Now on the other hand, when we are in a bad season we tend to be on our knees more asking the Lord to get us through that season…and quickly. We’ll make deals, we’ll make promises and we’ll even try to paint ourselves as being “unworthy” of the plight we are in just to try to convince God to get us out of that season or situation. The trouble with being in a bad season (just like a good season) is that we don’t appreciate it when we are. God allowed us to be in that season for a reason and the result of it may or may not be something we understand but somehow it will produce in us what Romans 5 tells us it will. Endurance, character and hope are things to be praised. As mentioned prior, I think we miss a great opportunity when we don’t praise for for the bad seasons.
So bottom line is this, whatever you’re going through right now is just a season – Good or Bad! It’s not forever and if bad – it’s not a curse from God. It’s a season, He needs you to go through it to produce in you the endurance, character and hope that will lead you to the good seasons that will follow. If you are in a good season, be prepared and content that bad seasons will come and regardless of what season you are in you need to praise the Lord for his compassion and mercy and most importantly His love for you.
To everything turn turn turn,
To every season turn turn turn,
And a time for every purpose under Heaven.
Now that song will be stuck in my head all day!