Ecclesiastes 3 is one of the most well-known passages in the Bible. It has been quoted over and over as preachers speak on it and even secular songs have been written about it. It’s premise is, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…”
I was in the middle of processing some grief when I was drawn to these verses. In talking with my wife, we agreed that the mourning process is hurried-through in America. We are known and respected for our ability to personally persevere in and through anything. It is perceived as strength of character, will, and determination. We get three days off from work when a parent dies and maybe a little more for a spouse. Then it’s back to work as if nothing ever happened.
There are also countless examples of our resolve in a myriad of large-scale crisis. Our news cycles keep us on task and, as a disaster is still in the process of playing out, people are already asking questions that should be reserved for another, more appropriate time. We are examining motive, assigning blame, and drawing conclusions before we even fully know what has happened.
I remember a few years ago, I made some personal choices that destroyed a relationship in my life. In the hurting of another, I hurt myself and it had become a repeating pattern. This time, there was something different: I found myself falling into a deep hole with no light or hope, flailing around in my despair as utter despondency overtook me. It was then that I got “real” with God. I yelled at Him in anger, I questioned His motives, and I even cursed Him for creating me to live like this. I remained there for quite a long time. The darkness didn’t lift for months and months, but it was the process I needed to endure in order to come to life again. No one could have told me, “OK its time to move on,” although people tried, it was between God and I.
My point is simple; there is a time for everything and rushing through it might just avoid the details one needs to work through. Be sensitive that you aren’t putting your expectation on someone else’s journey. Let God work His perfect will through each of us in the seasons of our lives.