Key Verse to Read and Treasure
A time to be born and a time to die. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, ESV)
You might have a set or two of them yourself. Bookends. Those things that hold your books or other items in place, supporting them, keeping them from spilling over. Some bookends are fancy, and some are just plain wood or mad from other materials. They don’t even have to be called that officially, they can be something you have found that does the job just as well. Stacked books make great bookends. In our home you don’t have to look very hard to find a set. We have more bookends than we can count. We have a lot of books, so bookends are a necessity.
Our earthly life is held together by bookends also. They are the events where all other activities, seasons, and events during our lifetime are held together. They are called birth and death. In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 Solomon writes about 14 contrasting seasons: birth and death; planting and plucking up; killing and healing; breaking down and building up; weeping and laughing; mourning and dancing; casting stones and gathering stones; embracing and refraining from embracing; seeking and losing; keeping and casting away; tearing and sewing; keeping silent and speaking; loving and hating; being at war and experiencing peace.
The human experience, regardless of race, language, socio-economic status, physical or mental capacities or generation, will enjoy and endure season after season between our bookends.
When you look through Solomon’s catalog of seasons how many can you identify as personal experience? Obviously, we’ve all been born. Some planting—even if only in the mind or suggesting an idea. Times of weeping and laughing, times of sorting through memories; keeping some throwing others out. Times of keeping quiet about something and times of speaking up or out. We’ve loved and hated. Times of living through wars and times of experiencing peace. As someone once said life is to be lived. Jesus said, “and to the full.”
The seasons between our bookends are God ordained. They allow us to experience the fullness of life nestled between two necessary times. They also give opportunity to witness God and relate to him as Shepherd, Restorer, Creator, Shelter, Refuge, Healer, Provider, Sovereign. They also help us see how he cares for others just as he does us; regardless of our personal feelings and experiences with them.
Ecclesiastes teaches us more than how Solomon sought to experience a satisfying and fulfilling life. It also teaches us that with much wisdom and in God’s care we can live life fully and confidently.
How are you when it comes to accepting the seasons and times God has appointed and planned for you? Is there any season or experience you need to spend time in prayer about?
Loving Father, between my bookends of birth and death I will experience many seasons; some better that others, but each one has been designed and ordained by you. Help me trust you in every season and cling only to you from beginning to end. In between let me live life confidently and with full assurance of your presence and help. Amen