A Purpose In The Time
by Jeff Ferris 10/19/2013 / Devotionals
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
(Ecclesiastics 3:2-8 KJV)
To consider these scripture quotations from recollection, to me they have basically read as printed above. Do you notice anything missing? You don't have to search very hard to find it.
Look inside the parentheses.
Do you see it now?
An extremely significant piece that is missing is verse one.
For some reason, I have always overlooked it by skimming it too quickly when reading this specific chapter. I have never done this intentionally, but it is easy to do because verse one is sort of an intro line or a header to the list that follows it.
Like the acknowledgments of a book, it can be missed or quickly passed over. Having thought I fully knew what that verse said, I now realize I was inadvertently missing something great in it.
Verses 2 8 offer a respectable sample of occurrences that are a normal part of human life, and we are being reminded that there is a time for each of these things to come and go. However, what verse one tells us adds great meaning to the existence of those things.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven
Do you see what I now see?
Have you ever missed what I have missed?
We can easily understand this verse informing us that there is a time for everything under heaven, but I have been missing the most important part by overlooking the word 'purpose.'
That word can bring comfort during a time of trials. It can give hope in a season of despair. It can offer strength in an hour of weakness.
Why? Because it reminds us that not only is there a time for these things, but there is also a purpose for them.
Why wouldn't there be? If we belong to God, everything we encounter has meaning, all that we endure has substance, and every season of our life has a purpose!
(This article was published in Pathway Christian Newspaper February 2013)