Spring is a beautiful time of year, with all the flowers blooming, the trees budding, and the birds singing. I have yet to decide which season is my favorite, because with each season comes it's own beauty. With autumn comes the color of the leaves falling from the trees; with winter the beauty and pureness of the snowflakes and icicles; with summer the warmth of the sun and the noise of children as they play while splashing in a pool or riding their bikes through the neighborhood.
But what about the seasons of our life? What about the good, the bad, and the ugly seasons we go through, how do they fit into our life plan of health, joy, success and prosperity?
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace. What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
As I write this in the spring of 2020, and the beauty of the season surrounds us, the epidemic of Covid-19 seems to be spreading rapidly through out our land. Fear has gripped our nation with the unknown of this highly contagious epidemic racing through our homes, workplaces, churches, sporting events, schools, and hospitals just to name a few. While having to quarantine in our homes we talk and meet with our loved ones on phone calls, video chats and social media. And we ask “what good could possibly come out of this?” But on the other side of what is now happening in our world, when its all said and done perhaps we will look back only to discover that we have found a new appreciation for the things we once took for granted. Perhaps we will find that we have grown to appreciate the dedication and hard work of the grocery store workers, the restaurant servers, first responders such as medical workers, fire fighters and police officers (just to name a few) in a whole new way. Perhaps we now can sincerely empathize with the homeless and the hungry, those who can’t find work, or those who cannot attend a funeral or be by the bedside of a sick or dying loved one. Perhaps we can look back on this, terrible epidemic that is sweeping over our land and we can honestly say “that because of the hardship we went through, character was built in us, and we became better people because of it. People that are grateful, kind and considerate of others. People who no longer judge or look down their nose at the homeless or those who are hungry and out of work. People who appreciate and enjoy the company of others, even if they are different from us. People who no longer take for granted the little things in life but enjoy every moment, knowing that all life is precious and is to be treasured. People who will not soon forget the error of our ways and the lesson that has come from the hardships we have walked through.
This season of your life may not be the best you’ve ever had, but I will guarantee you this season will be a season you will remember! You will remember the good, the bad, and the ugly of it all, because it was in this time a new character within you was being built. A character that could not have been built in you without the hardship you had to walk through. A character that made you a better person, a person with more care and compassion than you ever thought possible. A character that can only come from the God of the universe who loves you more than you’ll ever know. A character of mercy and grace toward others, which was developed during the hardest seasons of your life.
I've had many tears and sorrows, I've had questions for tomorrow, there's been times I didn't know right from wrong. But in every situation, God gave me blessed consolation, that my trials come to only make me strong. I've been to lots of places, I've seen a lot of faces, there's been times I felt so all alone. But in my lonely hours, yes, those precious lonely hours, Jesus lets me know that I was His own. I thank God for the mountains, and I thank Him for the valleys, I thank Him for the storms He brought me through. For if I'd never had a problem, I wouldn't know God could solve them, I'd never know what faith in God could do. (Song lyrics: Through it all, by Andrae Crouch)