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“A Timely Thought” by Steve VanHorn

“A Timely Thought” by Steve VanHorn

Lately, I have been keenly aware of how fleeting time can be. Reminders spring up all around me of this reality, but as I am made aware of the law of time, what lessons can I glean from this teacher of time?

As the season has changed to Fall, our kids reminded me of this reality—clothes from the previous Fall no longer fit and I was reminded that they too are in a new season… a season of GROWTH. Literally none of the clothes my kids had previously worn fit any longer! Who gave them permission to do this??? To grow!!!

Another wake up call came this Summer, when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. While it is a very treatable cancer and looks as though he is going to pull through it remarkably well, the ‘C’ word has a way of stopping you in your tracks, and to take stock of what you do with that often taken for granted gift known as time.

Both of these instances acted as reminders that life is full of timely moments. And while the christian is encouraged to “bless the Lord at all times” (Psalm 34:1), it is important to remember that God is the author of time. If we live for ourselves as the chief end, our purpose becomes meaningless. Time passes us by whether we expect it to or not.

The author of Ecclesiastes stated, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:…” He goes on to list the experiences (or times) that you and I face: 

  • a time to be born,
  • a time to die;
  • a time to plant, 
  • a time to pluck up what is planted;
  • a time to kill,
  • a time to heal;
  • a time to break down, 
  • a time to build up;
  • a time to weep,
  • a time to laugh;
  • a time to mourn, 
  • a time to dance;
  • a time to cast away stones, 
  • a time to gather stones together;
  • a time to embrace, 
  • a time to refrain from embracing;
  • a time to seek,
  • a time to lose;
  • a time to keep, 
  • a time to cast away;
  • a time to tear, 
  • a time to sew;
  • a time to keep silence, 
  • a time to speak;
  • a time to love, 
  • a time to hate;
  • a time for war, 
  • a time for peace. 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Some of the “times” mentioned aren’t all pretty but the author says “God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” (vs 11)

If I am honest, both of the examples I mentioned at the start of this post caused me quite a bit of anxiety and even despair. My babies are growing up and my father is getting older each day, but when I remember that God is able to work all things “beautiful for its own time”, I regain a sense of hope. Often, times of joy, difficulty, or change God uses to help us grow.