To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck 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 cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to gain, 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 silent, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Everything in this world ebbs and flows; nothing stays the same. In the spring and summer, the leaves, fruit, and flowers populate the trees. Come the autumn, they fall from their branches to usher in the barren winter. Rivers sometimes flow over their banks while other times slowing to a trickle or even drying up. Even our predictable seasons do not always come and go as expected. The good is countered by evil. Light gives way to darkness at day’s end then takes over again in the morning. Life is interrupted by death. We work, we rest, we work again. How wonderful it would be for the trees always to bear fruit, the rivers always to flow at just the right level, and the light always to shine!
Solomon noticed a great deficiency in this order of things. In fact, so much of his writing is a commentary on the rampant imperfection that pervades this world. He had riches and wisdom that we can only imagine, yet he wanted more, but Solomon was not greedy. He just longed for the good to last without being overtaken by the bad. He wanted growth without death, gain without loss. In this world, we have times and seasons; the only constant is change. Perhaps we have gotten used to that because it is all we have known, but there will come a day when things will be only good and remain that way forever. Life will not be interrupted, rest will not be needed, and night will not come.
There is a way to live that is necessary in this world because of its fallen nature. Now there is a time to kill and a time to heal, but then there will be only restoration. Now there is a time to break down and a time to build, but then there will be only wholeness. Our seasons in this place are not without purpose, but they only serve a purpose here. One day, we will enter a place where things will be reliably constant with no need for change and no possibility of improvement. We will enter a place of everlasting perfection where things remain just as they should be. Father, help us navigate the seasons we must endure in this life, and teach us to find the value in the change.