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  • David Bent

All in good time (26-09-20)

Bible Reading: Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.

He has also set eternity in the human heart;

yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

A Thought

There was a gap of three years from the time I left my ‘career’ in agriculture to the time I started training for ministry. Some of that time was taken up with the Church’s selection process, but a large part of it was our choice to wait for the best time, from the perspective of the children’s education, GCSEs and A Levels, to move to Bristol to train and then to move two years later into our first parish.

For part of those three years I worked in a nursing home and for the other part I worked for MENCAP in what, at the time, could have seemed like filling a gap, but was actually a rich time of learning for the future.

There was a calling and a vision but there was also a right time for it all to happen, timings which God had planned beforehand, but which we only understood with hindsight.

Waiting for something you want to happen can be frustrating, yet the writer of ‘Ecclesiastes’, possibly King Solomon, realised that there was a time for everything, and that everything is beautiful in its time.

Have there been situations in your life when there was something you desperately wanted to happen, but you had to wait? Can you look back and give thanks for God’s hand, leading you and blessing you in his time?

Or maybe you are waiting for something to happen at the moment. Can you trust God to work it out in his time and for your blessing?

Waiting for God’s timing, though, is not about the fatalism of letting it all happen around you, it is about the discernment of what is right and when is the right time for it to happen, and that comes through prayer and with wisdom.

There is a right time for things to happen, and we need to be ready to take the opportunities when they arise. And while we wait, let us pray, let us get on with whatever is at hand, and let us trust our God to work out his purposes in his time and for our blessing.

A Prayer

Father God, thank you that our times are safe in your hands and that you work everything out in your time and for my blessing. Give me the faith to trust you and the eyes to see that everything is beautiful in its time.

Amen.

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