Ecclesiastes 3:1 says ‘there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven’.
I experienced that in quite an intense way recently when in the space of a week, amongst a host of other things, I witnessed an accident which resulted in a man losing his life despite efforts on my part and others to save him, prayed with and for colleagues in the Ministry facing major challenges, was informed of the joyous news of a new born baby, was involved in a day’s marriage preparation with 3 couples I am marrying in the near future, visited a lady outwith our own congregation who is very sick with cancer, attended a meeting where details were shared of a journey into danger and uncertainty that a friend is making with his family, discussed and debated praise, listened as a young man shared his particular struggles with being a Christian, enjoyed great food and fellowship together in the hall, raising funds for the WfM project for this year, and preached the Good News of Jesus in Smithton, Madras Street and the Free North all on the one Sunday!
What a week it was, and as I was thinking of it I thought ‘A time for everything’. In verse 11 of that chapter, Solomon says, ‘he has made everything beautiful in its time’ and I realised firstly that ‘God appoints’; He has made everything….So nothing is random, chance, fate, luck. It is timed by God. It is from God who is our Father and who is loving, good, just and right. He appoints our days and times and events, even the death of his own Son; ‘This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge’ (Acts 2. 23).
And secondly ‘God anoints’. He has made everything beautiful .Now some of the things I was involved in were beautiful, but not all. There was much I saw and heard that was far from beautiful and tasteful and pleasant, but with God he does and will turn and use it all to make something beautiful in its time. I suppose that’s the thing- in time; God looked at the chaos of creation and by His Spirit brought order and beauty and light and good, in time. The death of Jesus was ugly and brutal and literally ‘hellish’ in that he experienced separation from God in the darkness on the cross, but it was made beautiful in time in that it was ‘through the Spirit he offered himself to God’ (Heb 9. 14) as a sacrifice for our sins. And by the same Spirit, God is able to anoint all things and work them for good……in time.
May we be able to accept that God appoints all our times, and also anticipate that God anoints all our times for our good and His glory…..in time.
Your friend and Pastor
Rev Colin MacLeod