His Gift.

Remember the Byrds’ hit?  “Turn, Turn, Turn!”  The lyrics go like this:

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to plant, a time to reap 

That song is based on a segment of Scripture that talks about everything having it’s time and place in our lives. It’s nice really, to think about there being a set time for things.  It makes us feel secure and comfortable to know there’s a set time for mourning and for rejoicing.  A set time for speaking and shutting up.  A set time to hold and to let go.  Oh how we love knowing when the “right time” is for these things.

Well, here in Chicago, there seems to be a season missing.  The “set time” isn’t right.  The days are all messed up and I’m confused.  We’ve gone from a mild Winter straight into Summer, even before we technically entered Spring.  The writer of Ecclesiastes didn’t stop and his proclamation of “set times”.  In fact, he seemingly contradicts himself by saying this:

“True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time— but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going.”

I love it.  I’m surely confused by a mild Winter.  I’m shocked by a week of Summer in March.  But God makes things beautiful in His time.  Just because there IS a “time” and a “season” doesn’t mean we can control them.

There are a lot of things about the future of JUSTembrace that I cannot know or predict and definitely can’t control.  We are on the brink of significant transitions and it is possible we will be making huge strides towards our dreams in the coming months.

The author of Ecclesiastes shares how to handle the unpredictability of the predictable:

“I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift.”

I want that perspective.  As we steadily move forward with courage to face the unknown, I am going to choose to enjoy each day.  I’m going to continue cooking for my neighbors, inviting people into my home.  I will get the fire pit out and stock up on smores supplies.

I’m going to trust that God is making things beautiful in His time.

In our spiritual lives, it is normal to wish we could follow a set schedule for growth and maturity.  If only the seasons of our spiritual growth were predictable.  They aren’t.

Most times I have no idea what God is up to.  He either blindsides me or He’s strangely quiet.

But He makes all things beautiful. He does.  I can trust that, and I can trust Him as I go about my business, eating, drinking, throwing parties and hanging out in my yard pulling weeds. That’s His gift to me.

So I encourage you – embrace the unknowable-ness of God, His creativity and His work in your life.  Relax.  Pour a cold drink and sit in the hot sun in March.  Rest in God’s promise to make things beautiful – including you.  It’s His gift to you.