Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV
“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.”
This past year and a half has been hard. The Covid sprint we originally thought we were running turned into a marathon, an ultra, then a triathlon. And now y’all, it’s an Iron Man. [What comes after an Ironman?!!….eek.] Very few people can go out and just “do” one of these events. People spend a lot of time in training. Especially an Ironman. But none of us have had that luxury with the Covid Ironman. We have had to learn how to build and fly the Covid plane all at the same time.
Every week there seems to be something new to figure out. Put a mask back on? Booster? Meet up with friends? Inside? Outside? Send my kids to school?
If we aren’t careful, the challenge can be overwhelming and we can catch ourselves focusing on what God isn’t doing….
He’s not saving my friends and family from Covid. He’s not bringing peace to our country and world. He’s not bringing economic recovery to my city. He’s not fixing this.
The reality is though, that He IS working. He tells us in Ecclesiastes that there is a time and season for everything. And in Romans that He uses all things for the good of those who are called to His purpose. [“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 ESV]
Covid didn’t surprise God. He expects tears and destruction as much as he expects laughter, healing and restoration.
All times and places of your life are in God’s hands. Pre-Covid. During-Covid. And, Post-Covid. In the tears and in the laughter.
Pre-Covid (because that’s how we are referring to time these days, right?), I went through a season of my life where I just couldn’t understand what God was doing. My heart was broken and my joy was gone. There were lots of tears and not so much laughter. I couldn’t listen to anything except for praise music because it was one of the few things that lifted my spirits. It helped me cling to Him and his word. There was one song that I especially clung to that says, “Even when I don’t see it, You’re working.” [My kids love this song….probably because they’ve heard me play it ONE MILLION times.]
I had to focus on what He WAS doing, not what He wasn’t doing. He had put me in an amazing job, surrounded by an amazing team and given me the best friends and family I could have wanted. As I look back to that season in my life where I thought He wasn’t working, it’s really that I just didn’t like how He was working. He didn’t give me what I wanted because he was protecting me.
We have to focus on what he IS doing.
Right now, with Covid and many other things in this world, He is disrupting His Church. He is teaching us who our neighbors are. He is reprioirtizing our lives and aligning them to His will. Our lamenting about what He isn’t doing might be that we just don’t like how He is doing it.
He’s working. Even when we don’t see it. He has a reason and a time for all things.
When we look back in a few years, I know we will see how God used this Covid season.
In the meantime, let’s focus on where we see Him working so that it strengthens our faith for the times where we just don’t get it.