Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 (NRSV)
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what 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 throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, 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 for war, and a time for peace.
What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil.
We awakened to a new year today. If you are like me, you may find yourself wondering about what the year ahead holds. This passage reminds us that in life we experience good times and bad times, successes and failures, love and loss, joy and pain:
“There is a time for every event under heaven.” Often, when good things come our way we tell ourselves, “It’s about time! I so deserve this!” But in times of loss or pain it’s easy to feel like we have been unfairly singled out to bear something we didn’t deserve.
These verses tell us that God has given us an eternal perspective, making it possible for us to recognize our earthly experiences, both good and bad, as part of our journey. A friend once told me, we can take comfort in knowing that these events may come to pass, but they don’t come to stay. Our best response to life events of all kinds is to rejoice and do good, recognizing that God is with us in all situations. I hope your new year is bright with the joy of doing good and filled with the gifts of God.
Eternal God, thank you for being with us throughout the ups and downs of life. We ask your blessings on the year ahead. Lead us in your will, so that we may rejoice in all the seasons ahead. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Go with God.