Week 44 A Time For Everything

By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)

Week 44

Scripture Readings: Ecclesiastes 3-4

Key Scripture Verse: Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV, Life Application Bible) “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

In the first two chapters of Ecclesiastes Solomon showed us that our activities and hard work are meaningless if we don’t have a relationship with God. Here he tells us that he has learned that there is a right and wrong time for certain activities and that God has his own timing as to when things should happen, as he states in the next few verses: “a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal,” etc..

With life and death and everything in between, timing matters. We are told that there are specific times that are designated appropriate for certain activities and events and that God has something to say about that—he is in control. God sometimes wants us to be patient and to wait on him.

And in our waiting, he mostly wants us to trust him and to lean on him. We are told not worry, not to focus on what might happen in the future with an attitude of concern or worry. God wants us to be at peace and the only way we are to be at peace about these things is to lean on him and to trust that he will care for us and that his timing is perfect.

There are cycles of life in nature that should teach us that God has taken care of the timing. He has set the cycles in motion so that things occur as they should when they should. This should offer us some reassurance. We expect the sun to rise in the morning and for nightfall to come in the evening, for example.

Verse 11 says that God has “set eternity in the human heart.”—we innately understand that there is more to have and experience–that is likely why we have a yearning, a dissatisfaction at times, because we seek meaning. If we ignore God and leave him out of the picture, we will miss the meaning and be dissatisfied, and will find ourselves “chasing the wind.”

The meaning we seek is within the being of God himself. Only God can satisfy that yearning—that yearning is the “hole” inside that we all want to fill and satisfy, somehow.

Solomon tells us to pay attention to God’s timing, because he knows best. There is a time for everything according to his greater plan. We don’t know the whole plan, because we cannot know the full knowledge of God, but if we can trust that he knows what he is doing and we follow his natural order for things without forcing or taking things into our own hands, we will be at peace with his plan.

If we can remember that he has a plan that he wants us to follow, so that we can fully participate and benefit from the plan, and that he is overseeing it to its perfection, we should be able to trust him and enjoy some peace without anxiously trying to make things happen on our own.

May we pray when we’re anxious. May we ask for his peace. May we wait for his answers. May we trust the Lord who made us and loves us that he will do what’s best in his own perfect timing.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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