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“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”
Often in our staff room, several colleagues are ‘Binge Watching’ the same television series.
Questions like “Which episode are you on?” or “What did you think when ….?” Are asked, perhaps find out where the other person is up to, or how much spare time they have to watch it, or are they at a very important part of the story, or close to the end?
Imagine if we could put our lives that we have lived to this point into television episodes?
Childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, perhaps marriage or singleness, “empty nesting,” retirement—these are all possible episodes or seasons of life. Could you see where one ended and another one began? Perhaps you’re currently in the middle of an episode or season and have no idea how—or if—it will end.
Near the end of reign of Solomon (approx. 930 BC), in all his God-given wisdom, he reflects back on the many episodes he has lived. And he is coming to an all-too-familiar conclusion, one that many of our elders are coming to in the later episodes of their movie marathons: things change from one episode to the next. I don’t just mean the geography, or the people (or actors) involved, but the priorities that you have in each episode, the character of yourself is important.
Any good screenwriter (in particular God) knows that each episode has a purpose for the next – there is foreshadowing, there is some form of training in terms of lessons met with along the flow of the story. Each episode is leading us (by the director) to the next, unveiling a story or narrative that only a loving, holy God could formulate for our life.
“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.” Ephesians 1:4
God determines our narrative, its length and its end. We have to break away from the belief that we run the story, or at least be a consulting editor. A holy and perfect God does a much better job that we ever could.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
No matter where we are in the narrative, our God is with us, looking over us.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
God has the ending of the narrative in mind, and it is also what Solomon came to learn—that his narrative, our narrative does not end.
“I know that everything God does will endure forever.”
Each episode points and prepares you for the next. Every episode or scene even, is meant to point and prepare you for the next that does not end—eternity with God. Here’s why:
“For God SO loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
So the question is this: How is God working in you in your current chapter of life?
For my family, we have come to a time of change, the channel has been decided on for the next viewing extravaganza, and unfortunately for some we are leaving for Taree.
Our time in Parkes has come to an end, but no matter the hurt and heartache, we understand that there will be change and why it needs to be. These verses from Ecclesiastes have had a great bearing on our family’s life, being the reading at my parents’ wedding, my sister’s wedding, mine and Nat’s wedding, and the funerals for my parents and brother.
It is telling us that God is the writer of our story, and we are to be people who expect change, not to fight against it for no reason.
Eternity has been placed in the heart of man so that we yearn for what is to come, rather than rue what has passed, or mourn what we think we will miss.
Because our God has written the story of our lives, the beginning and the end, we should live in His Story – Eternity.