Ecclesiastes 3:1-14 (NRSV)

1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; 7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. 9 What gain have the workers from their toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. 11 He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; 13 moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil. 14 I know that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has done this, so that all should stand in awe before him.   

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NRSV)

1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:   

DEVOTION -Sharon Owens (New Jersey)

For over 10 years I’ve endured a chronic autoimmune disorder, but thankfully I’m able to function for the most part.  My most difficult seasons bring about painful digestive problems.  During my peaceful seasons I feel much better and I am so thankful to God for this time of mercy flowing over me.

Over time I have grown to appreciate all the changing seasons of my health.  Through God’s love I was finally able to see that if I could identify the seasons of my pain, then I could see how God was not only keeping me but helping me to find a deeper gratefulness in those quieter times.

One of my favorite scriptures is Ecclesiastes 3:1.  This verse affirms that in every aspect of our lives and every stage of life, we are forever moving through seasons in some way.  The good news is that with god’s strength we can learn not only to accept the challenges but to humbly appreciate our peaceful times.  Such gratitude will then help us to endure our difficult times.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:  How is God present for me in this season?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, help us to see your healing hands and loving arms holding us during our times of pain.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: THOSE WHO LIVE WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS

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