I write regularly about repentance, and usually mine in particular. I write about my Cross encounters and repentance because that is my normal. It often feels like a non-stop cycle of seeing and falling apart and surrendering and then being put back together—only to take another trip round the mountain almost immediately. In light of that, I was reminded of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
I’ve always approached this passage as a general, cover-all-emotional-bases deal, but I’m not so sure any more. God is the sovereign Keeper of Time, and I think that there are periods when the leaves fall off the trees with more frequency than we’d like.
“A time to break down, and a time to build up…”
I am ever operating under the belief that I’m “out of order.” I believe, really believe, that the time of breaking down is meant to be quick and rare. But why? Where is that said? Paul’s letters were full of correction and confrontation and exhortation in equal measure to encouragement and praise. So why do I read his letters to the Corinthians and Ephesians and expect to bypass the rigors of discipleship?
Brother Lawrence said that for the first 10 years that he was saved, he despaired that he would never stop sinning. I don’t know what kind of sin he meant, and I don’t think that it matters much. It’s a window into his journey, and I am greatly encouraged by it because it means I’m not alone. There is “a time to every purpose under the heaven” and one of those is “a time to break down.”
Now, does this mean that I give myself license to do whatever I want? No, of course not. What it means is that part of receiving my story with gratitude is receiving God’s timing in telling it. I am learning that it is very difficult to accept and give thanks for the time it takes to be sanctified.
My Cross is to be taken up daily for as long as I draw breath in this life, which means that there is no bypassing the seasonal breaking down. Right now, I am being shelled with great frequency and it seems like a bombardment without end, but this will not always be the case. I may be bunking with Ms. Weeping and Mr. Mourning right now, but I am told that there is also “a time to laugh” and “a time to dance.” I will remember that.
This weekend, I choose to put down the scorecard and stop looking around for the purpose of comparing my story to everyone else. I choose to love my Father and thank Him. He breaks me down, but He also builds me up. He requires my death, but He’s given me the life of His only Son. He leads me into bloody battle after bloody battle, but He also fills me with the Peace that passes understanding. I am a woman loved and blessed beyond the telling of it, and that’s more than enough to go on.
I know that all God does will last forever;
there is no adding to it or taking from it.
God works so that people will be in awe of Him.
Ecclesiastes 3:14 HCSB
[…] Last week, I specifically chose not to compare (for the purpose of judging) my walk with that of others. I am realizing that when I made that choice, I really had no idea what I was choosing. I thought that I’d simply stop condemning myself outside of the purview of the Holy Spirit. After all, I don’t have the right to do that, and it’s a vile act of pride. But it’s more than that. […]
Enjoy your weekend in Father’s arms!
He stands up amidst the ruins of us.
There is a death to be aquianted with most Christianity does not know about -and if they know, they look elsewhere or even condemn it. This death He brings about, only those walking close to Him know intimately.
It is a blessed death, and a blessed day when you embrace it as your daily Bread.
I prefer to go with Him unto His Death and Life rather than lying myself (abiding by a strange fire.)
Love abounding in Jesus Christ.
Anyone remember this song by the Byrds…One of the first scriptures put to music I ever heard from Ecc 3?… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4ga_M5Zdn4 Jennifer I mow 3-4 hrs 3 times a week out here on 52 acres and your saying…” I think that there are periods when the leaves fall off the trees with more frequency than we’d like.” was funny cause yesterday, I finished mowing one area and it looked great…then a huge gust of wind came by and hundreds of leaves came tumbling down…I just stopped and laughed…otherwise I may have cried…thank you so much for your heartfelt and heart… Read more »
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Thank you Jennifer. Ecc 3:11
What joy what peace there is when we can put the scorecard down and rest in the realization of our Fathers unrelenting love. This so resonated within me, thank you to know that we journey alone yet together as our Father completes that which he began in us.