“There is a time for everything”

Ecclesiastes 3:1

I like things that are simple.  My desire for simplicity spills over into most areas of my life.  I don’t like things that are complicated or wordy.  I don’t like to read instructions.  And people’s drama is something that makes me want to run.  As I write this my husband is hanging a new mini blind in the dining room window.  He sat down and read all the directions before he even picked up a screw driver.  I on the other hand took one look at the directions and made the decision to come up to my office and write.  It is true.  Opposites do attract.

Life is anything but simple.  It’s complicated, messy, frustrating, and cluttered.  The other day I came across someone’s paraphrase of Ecclesiastes 3:1, and fell in love with it.  I want to share it with you:

           “Stop trying to work things out before their times have come.  Accept the limitations of living one day at a time. When something comes to your attention, ask Me whether or not it is part of today’s agenda.  If it isn’t, releaseit into My care and go about today’s duties.  When you follow this practice, there will be a beautiful simplicity about your life: “a time for everything and everything in its time.” 

How many times do we, when faced with a difficult situation, immediately begin trying to work out a solution to the dilemma?  And why do we think everything that comes to our attention HAS to be taken care of TODAY?  What is in our hearts that makes it difficult for us to accept the limits placed on us?  Why is it difficult for us to live with God’s agenda for the day rather than our own?  Why do we have such difficulty releasing things into God’s care?  Great questions, aren’t they!

So as I go back through this paraphrase of Ecclesiastes 3:1, I find three key words that I believe should direct our daily lives – especially when we find ourselves in difficult times.  First word is accept.  We should begin each day promising God that by His grace we will accept whatever He has for us the next 24 hours.  Even the situations we don’t like.  Second is the word pray.  We should pray over every detail of our lives, and ask God to accomplish His will in every situation.  And lastly is the word release.  We need to release to God’s sovereignty every concern we have, as well as the cares that will come up in our day. 

I like these three words so much that I have written them on a 3 by 5 card and am placing them with my devotional and prayer list.  When we practice acceptance, prayer, and release in our lives there will be a beautiful simplicity that only God’s Spirit can give us.  And we will know that there truly is “a time for everything and everything in its time.”