February 15, 2017

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven … [God] has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11)

Every season has its beauties. Spring reveals lush beds of emerald blossoms to cheer the heart. Summer sports its vibrant gold and sapphire canopies that invigorate the bones. Autumn soothes the mind with crimson and ginger rainbows. Even winter’s shrouds of stark silvers and poignant chocolates stir the soul. Of course, each season also has its burdens. January brings cold and darkness. October gets blustery and shriveled. July grows hot and violent—and April proves wet and messy.

Human beings undergo different seasons. Our lives experience changing times. Some become burdensome. Actually, all of life’s seasons become burdensome: gestation and infancy, childhood and adolescence, training and service, marriage and parenthood, retirement and aging. None comes or goes without denting and bending all of us, whether privilege or poverty, ability or ailment, influence or isolation. Youth or maturity, confidence or confusion, comeliness or homeliness—all operate as instruments of Satan and arenas for pain. The problem’s not the environment but the inhabitant. We take sin with us everywhere we go, and it touches everything anyone does.

In spite of our failures, Jesus incarnates all human life’s seasons. In fact, because of our fallen state, He sanctifies every one of our states and stages: Embryo and baby, toddler and teenager, adult and dying. He was born and grew. He walked and wept. He slept and ate and sweat. He felt and hurt and bled. He took up our sorrows and carried our sicknesses (Matthew 8:17). He involves God’s love and power in our sufferings (Hebrews 2:17-18). He incorporates God’s forgiveness and salvation into our shortcomings. He is crucified to release every human heart. He is resurrected to restore all human bodies. No circumstances that befall us lie beyond His grasp. No situations we bring about land us outside His grace (Romans 8:38-39). Some even turn out beautiful; indeed, in His time, at His command, and according to His good and gracious will, they all do, and we all will!

“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.” (1 Timothy 4:4-5)