A Season for Everything
Some days it just feels like there is tragedy all around us. The fear of what is next threatens to steal our present joy. I know it is cliché to say we never know when it is our time, yet those words never seemed more true than two years ago when I lost an exceptional someone in a very unexpected way. The death of a loved one changes us. It alters how our hearts and soul respond to life and to love. It can either drown us in a sea of despair (which is inevitable for a time), or it can open our eyes to the impermanence of this life and remind us to focus on the permanence of the next.
As we read in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up. 4
“A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”
A Time to Mourn
Right now, I know many loved ones are in the time to mourn category. Others are experiencing a time to dance. No matter what season of life you find yourself in, please know that all seasons end with new seasons on the horizon. I pray for those that are mourning. My heart breaks for their tremendous pain.
Jesus wept when his dear friend Lazarus died. Even though he knew Lazarus would not remain dead, Jesus felt the sting of loss and wept bitterly as we have all done in light of deep, tragic, heart-wrenching loss. Even though Jesus knew the eventual outcome, the pain of separation is intense. Here one day and gone the next. There is no script for how to live with that amount of deep suffering. Eventually, the hurt will turn to acceptance, and the acceptance will turn to contentment, reflecting on the precious memories of our loved ones, holding on to authentic hope that we will assuredly embrace them again someday.
Manndi Deboef writes from Missouri.
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