O’ The Times and the Seasons
End of Day, End of Season, Sullivan, Maine
There is a rhythm to life. As the world spins around the sun, seasons blend, and “time flies. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”(Genesis 8:22) Always fragile and unpredictable, life slowly shifts and slows, and then we “fly away”.
Change is inevitable in this world. In contrast, Scripture points to God’s immutable nature and upholds the idea that what He has purposed will be done. His constancy is posed as a rhetorical question in the book of Numbers: “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (Numbers 23:19) The Psalmists sang about God’s providential wisdom and compassionate purposes, repeatedly invoked God as Israel’s “Rock” of salvation, and proclaimed that “The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. (Psalm 33:11) Those plans “of his heart” included redeeming and restoring broken humanity to Himself through faith in the Messiah, the Wonderful Counselor and Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9: 6-7)
When he wrote about the Gospel, the Apostle Peter echoed and affirmed Isaiah’s statement: “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” (1 Peter 1:23-25) (Isaiah 40:6-8) And in his sermon on the mount, Christ pointed us to the importance of truth when he spoke the parable about building life on solid foundations. “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock…everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. (Matthew 7:24,26) Later he would say, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35) That is true because his character does not change with the times and seasons. He “is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
Such information should be good news for an increasingly divided society which is experiencing high levels of anxiety, addictions, and violent acting out behaviors and which does not accept or understand the universally healthy moral standard for living out our created purposes and the most meaningful life possible. Life’s complexities, challenges, inconsistencies, and uncertainties can be very unsettling- even devastating. Obviously doing our own thing, self-determination, situational ethics, and loving ourselves more than God or others aren’t philosophies working well for us.
The times and seasons just keep on changing as do the human standards by which we choose to live; but if we trust the intentional, steadfast, and transformative power of God’s Word, which brings light to our minds and meaning and wholeness to our souls through exhortation, rebuke, and enlightenment, we will be guided to a steadfast faith of peace, joy, and hope.