Thursday, January 16, 2014

There is a Season

   a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; -Ecclesiastes 3:4

Patterns. We see patterns everywhere when we study Scripture. On my daily walks, I sometimes reflect on these patterns. The cycle of the seasons, for example, and the reflection of this pattern in the seasons of our lives.

We are creatures of habit and routine and perhaps God arranged these patterns so that we might draw comfort from them. At times, though, the patterns are disrupted and the routine shattered.

The usual way of things is that we live and grow old and die. Our loved ones gather to mourn us and give comfort to one another.

But we find in God's Word that the pattern is broken when parents must bury their children, when our loved ones are taken seemingly in the midst of their lives. It is the cause of great grief for us, as it was for those whose lives were recorded in the Bible.

Though we understand that God alone knows the number of our days, it does not lessen the pain of the untimely (for so it seems to us) passing of someone dear to us.

Is there something more there than the natural pain of our loss? I read between the lines in David's mourning for Absalom and see regret. Regret perhaps for lost opportunities; for wrongs not righted; for words not spoken.

But there is the promise that all things will be made new. All tears, pain, sorrow and death shall cease. And having already had our souls restored in the first resurrection, we look forward to the second resurrection and the raising of our glorified bodies, the renewal of relationships broken by death, and life in the presence of our God as He makes His dwelling among us.

As surely as the dead (and deadness) of winter gives way to new life each spring, so too will this pattern be fulfilled.

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies are never-ending; they are renewed every morning; great is your faithfulness; -Lamentations 3:21-23

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