|Centrepiece at their wedding|
Tomorrow is my son and daughter-in-law’s first wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since they were married and we began a new season of our lives as empty-nesters! The phrase is so cliché but, “Where did the time go?!” I’ve been asking that question so often over the past couple weeks, especially as we reminisce, not only about the wedding, but as we have re-connected this summer with so many old friends and acquaintances. I always loved the little chorus I learned as a young girl:
“Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold.”
Last Sunday, we had the joy of visiting our former church to hear the pastor who had married us almost 27 years ago. He had been asked to preach a couple Sundays in August while vacationing here. It was just like “old home week” as we met him and his wife and many dear people with whom we had fellowshipped and served in past years. What fun we had comparing pictures of our children and grandchildren (in some cases), recalling great experiences we had shared together, laughing over humorous memories, remembering those who’ve gone on to Heaven before us, and singing and worshiping together. My husband and I were thrilled when the service ended with our favorite benediction that this pastor had blessed us with so often. He had also dedicated our three-week-old son to the Lord, so my mind was flooded with wonderful memories throughout the service, the fellowship time afterward, and during the rest of the day.
King Solomon wrote, “He has made everything beautiful in its time…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NIV). As he reflected on his life experiences, I believe he was struggling with trying to fathom how the God who loves us can take both the good and the bad and make something so beautiful from it all. I think he questioned the wisdom of God at times, but as he said, “…He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (Ecc. 3:11, Amplified) Many times I’ve wished I could know what lies ahead in my life’s journey, but only God is omniscient and I have to trust that whatever He allows to transpire is for my best. At times, that is very hard!
A while back, I wrote my own version of Solomon’s famous lines in Ecclesiastes 3:1-11:
“If we ‘fear God and keep His commandments’ (Ecc. 12:13), we are able to conclude that all the times of our lives will be meaningful, producing wisdom from God. This will guide us through…
…times of good and times of bad
…times of happiness and times of sadness
…times of need and times of plenty
…times of confusion and times of revelation
…times of seeing life born anew and times of seeing life slip away
…times of predictability and times we never anticipated
…times we will always remember and times we wish we could forget
…times of embarrassment and times of pride
…times we loved and times we hated
…times of spiritual elation and times of spiritual dryness
…times we felt intimacy with God and times we wondered where God was in it all
‘God makes all things beautiful in its time’. Often I see that beauty in a moment, but more often it is several days, months, even years, before I perceive the beauty God unfolds from every situation and season I face in my life. There are other moments of beauty I will never see until I am able to sit down with my Saviour and have that heart-to-heart conversation. Only then will I see with total clarity how He wove the fragmented strands of my life into an intricate and beautiful artistic masterpiece.
Solomon was one of the richest and most successful men that have ever lived, but in the end he realized that all we do, or all we acquire in life, all our successes and failures, really have no purpose apart from God and living for Him. He knew ‘that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it, so men will revere Him.’ (Ecc. 3:14, NIV)”
As I continue to trust God each day for the details of my life, I rest assured that He is making all things beautiful in His time. That’s enough for me!
Until next Sunday,
P.S. Thanks to my husband for his photographs of my garden flowers!