by Rick Warren
“God has made everything beautiful for its own time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11a NLT)
The seasons of life include both good and bad times. Life is full of contrasts. We go through mountains, and we go through valleys. We go through successes, and we go through failures. We have wins, and we have losses.
In weather, there are four seasons. But in your life, there are dozens of different seasons.
Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 gives us a representation of different life experiences: “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace” (NLT).
Life is a combination of contrasting seasons. All sunshine and no rain make a desert. If you are following God’s will, if you’re really trying to live your life according to the way God wants you to live, then all of these experiences have meaning and purpose and value in your life.
And they’re all God’s will! Some of you think that the only time you’re in God’s will is when you’re at church or having a quiet time. You can be in God’s will as you’re cleaning out a closet. You can be in God’s will mowing your lawn. You can be in God’s will moving to a new location or not moving to a new location. There’s a time and season for everything.
Ray Stevens sang a song called “Everything Is Beautiful in Its Own Way.” He lied. It’s not true. Everything is not beautiful. Cancer is not beautiful. Child abuse is not beautiful. War is not beautiful.
Everything is not beautiful in its own way. He misquoted Ecclesiastes 3:11 which says, “God has made everything beautiful for its own time.” That’s very different. God can take even the bad things and, in the proper season, turn them around and use them for good in the way he intends.
Some of you are going through a season right now that is not beautiful. It’s ugly. Your finances look ugly. Your health looks ugly. Your marriage or a friendship looks ugly. Your future looks ugly.
But God can make something good out of it if you’ll give him the pieces.