Focus Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Everything has its purpose.
Verse 1 of Ecclesiastes 3 begins, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven”. Then follows a long list of opposites. A time for good or rest and a time for bad or work.
Verses 1-8 try and capture as much of the good, bad and ugly that will happen through life but the point is everything. Everything from the stupid stuff we did as 20 somethings (or maybe continue to do as 40 somethings) to the best and happiest days of our life. Absolutely everything we do can be used for every purpose under heaven.
Everything. For HIS glory.
I often forget that the bad and ugly can be used. I have so much more of that in my life than any good that I might create. And as a few of my most recent blogs have suggested, I’ve been fairly good about accumulating the bad and the ugly in my life.
But today I am in a season of peace and I want to give public thanks to God for this season. Because I have had such long seasons of weeping, and brokenness, hatred, and feelings of being cast away, reclusive and mournful.
Today I laugh. I laugh and I embrace and I build up and I gather, and gain, and keep and sew. And I am so very thankful that I am in this season that I can hardly see the screen through my tears of joy and happiness.
I love my job and the people I work with but had to go through two very rough career seasons to get there. I have a wonderful marriage with a husband I cherish but went through “hell and back” (see The Vow, if you have not yet read it) to get there. My finances are in a “happy place” – not rich or poor – but had to go through a few very rough financial seasons to get there. I feel new purpose in life each day but had to go through years of self-doubt and feeling insignificant to get there. I have new friends that make me laugh every day but had to overcome years of insecurities and “friendship dating” to get there. I have peace. And I give glory to God for that peace. I am so very thankful for my season of peace – I am breathing more deeply than I ever have.
This is what The First Breath is all about. I’ve had struggles, but who hasn’t? I just want to feel normal – but I want to be passionate about Christ from that “normal” point of view. I’m not anybody special – I’m probably the same formula of hot mess that most people are and I have the same kind of secrets and skeletons….but the Truth about my savior brings passion to my life that makes everything more normal. Without that passion for Christ, my secrets and skeletons and hot mess are self-victimized dramas that get played out in overexaggerated gossip. But with Christ, my hot mess is made normal. The First Breath is about God breathing life and truth and grace and hope into my lungs every day. The kind of breath that through the seasons of yuk, still feel normal because I am secure in His love.
I can’t say it enough - I am so very thankful for this time of peace. But I am prayerful that this time of peace is a “purpose under heaven” and not just a period of rest. Because the first verse in chapter three seems the most important for me. There is a time for peace, BUT for every purpose under heaven. So, I am prayerfully asking God what I can do during this time of peace and comfort. How can I serve others during this season? How can I spread his love and be a light for others to see what their season is and to help them pray about what the purpose of their season is?
Yet I don’t pretend that I am rewarded with peace because of my struggles. I hope I show more humility than that. I know that these things happen at the appointed hour and not a minute before or after. My seasons are determined by He who created me for HIS purpose and I know, that as I enjoy my season, it could change tomorrow – yet still for his purpose.
Read Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8. What season are you in? Have you talked with God about how to use this season to further His Kingdom? How do you feel about God’s timing of the seasons in your life? How do they differ from your timing?