December 9, 2009 // Posted by Brad Hoffmann //
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
I read through this passage with mixed emotions. Part of me wishes for a life without failure, pain, death, and loss – even though I understand that scenario to be impossible. Life is full of ups and downs meaning there are few constants. Life isn’t very predictable nor is it logically manipulable.
Life sometimes has a way of pushing us either away from or to God. Circumstances can serve as an igniter forcing us to run away from or rush to embracing God. Part of me wants to “pull myself up by the bootstraps” in less than exceptional moments. Life vies for my attention calling me to accept a self-made and get tough mentality to overcome my circumstances. Yet, I’ll find my own strength and determination waning in my attempted self-made seasons. On the flip side, when things are going well, you begin to believe that you somehow have created your own exceptional reality. When things are good, we have a tendency to not recognize the true life-shaper and believe more in our own illusive skills.
Then it dawns on me that God desires my dependence upon Him in both the good and challenging moments of life. The failure, pain, death, and loss serves as a reminder to draw closer to Him rather than to my independence. Likewise the “good” serves as a magnet drawing me to Him. In theory, circumstance shouldn’t determine the level of my intimacy with God, but I allow it to from time to time. Maybe we all do that?
In all of life’s ups and downs, there is one constant – Christ. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is dependable in a world that often seems so illogical. My desire is to lessen the influence of circumstance on my level of intimacy with God. He is my strength, wisdom, and refuge which I desire to fully know at all times.