We just finished a several month study of that familiar passage from Ecclesiastes 3.
To everything, there is a season,
and a time for every purpose
under the heavens…
I won't summarize two months worth of study in one post, but throughout, there were three constants:
Seasons…mere line segments in our eternal time lines.
And times...fixed points of opportunity
And purposes…. A simple word,
best rendered as delights.
It’s a beautiful passage, especially for a bunch of women like the ones in my class who are, shall we say, starting to feel the effects of too many seasons. We finished on Sunday with the reminder not to be so caught up with our season that we miss the opportunities for delight hidden within it-- to look for the beautiful things promised in Ecclesiastes 3:11.
He hath made all things beautiful in time.
That's in the perfect tense.
Not… He can make
Not...He plans to make
Not….He will make
Not even… He is making
But... He has made.
He made it beautiful before we even entered the season.
It’s finished, completed, made beautiful, and perfectly polished just for the discovery.
His gift to us, regardless of the season, is the treasure hunt.
Sounds like an adventure to me.
So I gave my class an assignment. I asked them to take their focus off of their seasons and to look, really look, for the delights. And I asked them to report back to me when they found one. This morning, I found one of mine, and I have decided to share it here.
You may remember this plant that the Duchess gave me back in November.
And you may remember my brown thumb...
And the way that it looked in February.
I yakked all about it here.
Well, I never did show that plant to the Duchess. Instead, I kept on killing it day by day. It finally ended up nothing but an empty pot of soil. No, I didn't take a picture. Just imagine the one above, but even more dead.
I found one last purple twig. It had fallen to the deck so I scooped it up and kind of crammed it back into the soil the way any brown thumber would do. Then, I watered it. And since this plant is called a Wandering Jew, I named it The Remnant of Israel.
Because that’s the kind of thing I do.
Well, you can probably guess where this is going...
I didn't really want to putter in the yard this morning. After all, it's hot, and most things are dry and wilting. But when I went to turn on my hose, I happened to glance toward a forgotten corner of the yard, and this is what I saw.
I feel the uncontrollable urge to say, "Behold!"
There, right in the middle of my dry and wilted season, I saw God's hands peeking up from the soil.
I was delighted.
Now, you green thumbers can have all the explanation that you want for The Remnant sprouting up like this. Maybe the cram-it-down-in-the-soil trick really worked. As for me, I choose to call it a delight and believe that God made it beautiful for such a time as this.
Because you see, I have been going through a dried up season too. Maybe it's the looming empty nest, or maybe it's that pesky fibromyalgia that makes me feel a little old and tired sometimes, but I had begun to wonder if my best days were behind me.
But when I saw The Remnant this morning, I had a radical thought:
Maybe God has another blooming season planned for me, too.