Most of us are familiar with Ecclesiastes 3 and its reminder that our lives are meted out in seasons – periods of time characterized by certain conditions or activities. Seasons are defined cycles. They have appointed beginnings and selected ends. They are prearranged terms that serve specific functions, and although fleeting, every season has purpose.
Sometimes I get caught up in the season I’m in. Whether it’s good or bad, I tend to focus on the activity of the phase rather than looking for its purpose, forgetting it is a defined period with a particular beginning and a precise end. Some stages seem to last forever while others go by quickly and more often than not, it’s the unpleasant times, the times of toil and weeping and searching that appear to drag on endlessly, causing me to wonder if they really do have parameters and can only last so long, go so far.
The particular season I’m in is about to have its 10-month anniversary. It’s one of those planting, tearing down, scattering stones, searching kind of seasons. The type in which there’s a lot of work and no rest - all give and no take. I know it will eventually bring a time of harvest, building up, gathering stones, and finding things lost, but quite honestly, I’m tired. And then I remember another familiar verse, the one that instructs us not to become weary in doing good because we will reap the benefits of our work at an appointed time if we don’t give up (Gal. 6:9). There it is again – an appointed time – one that has already been picked out, predestined just for me, but it is contingent upon my willingness to keep working.
So yet again I am forced to make a choice. Do I keep on when there is no end in sight, when I have no clue what God’s time table is, when I just want to pack up and go home? Yes, because I don’t want to have worked in vain. I have to force myself to remember that this, too, shall pass, and I have to focus on and believe in His plans for me, the ones including my prosperity, hope and future (Jer. 29:11). Just as He has established this season’s beginning, He has coordinated its end. He does all things well (Mark7:37), He prepared every day of my life before I even lived one of them (Psalm 139:16), and He will never leave me (Hebrews 13:5). He knows, He sees, and He cares, and He will reward my faithfulness.