Saturday, September 18, 2010

Solomon's Analysis of Time Management

Lesson Three
Study Reference Ecclesiastes Chapter Three

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 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.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I believe that this Scripture is one of the most quoted passages of the Bible in the world today. It introduces thought that is provoking but comprehensive, almost to the point of futility. Solomon injects the idea that life could be useless because of mankind’s finite nature. He also suggests that life has a cycle to which we are all bound by. I look forward to the cooler months of the year and can remember the ones were there was an abundance of snow and ice. My wife and I love walking down the beach in October and November with the cool salt mist in the air. I enjoy tasting the salt on my lips and the wind whipping up the foam from the incoming waves. But the thing I enjoy the most about winter is how the color of the sea changes from light aqua colored blue-green in the summer when the warmer waters of the gulf stream has moved inshore, to the colder waters, deep dark greenish black of the winter. When I observe the greenish black sea I can imagine the recesses of our minds to things we hardly ever observe about the passing of time in relation to ourselves.

An example of this can be found in the story of the Bible concerning the woman with the issue of blood that plagued her for 12 years of her life.

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, who touched me? And Jesus said, somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” Luke 8:43-48

As Solomon has declared, there is a time,and a season, but most importantly, a reason for everything under the Sun. It is hard to comprehend with us that certain things just take time and have to run their course in life. We live in the day of instant gratification where almost everything is produced in microwave speed. When we are dealing with God and His time table in which Solomon is referring too, we are thrown into granny gear and frustrated beyond belief. I think the only time we enjoy God’s time table is when we are planning to go on vacation. Then we complain about how fast the time went by! God’s time table is something to reckon with and many people have to have many thing added to their lives to help them pass the time more quickly. This is one of the reasons people are so busy in their daily lives. They add busy work to themselves so the time will seem to pass more easily.

I feel that the woman with the issue of blood wished probably prayed many times for the remedy to come along just to get passed this unanswered health problem. Many times we are impatient and desire to cut the chase with a cure all medicine or surgery that doctors most often prescribe. But have we ever asked God what is the real purpose for the illness to begin with? Is our illness just a fluke? Is it just by unfortunate circumstances that we have this incurable disease? Can my illness serve a real purpose for others? As Solomon has pointed out, there is a reason for everything but in our unreasonable condition we tend to leave out or ignore all together the Creator of all living things.

Rest assured, God had a real and intended purpose for this woman’s illness despite the suffering and anguish incurred along that twelve year span. First thing I would like to point out is that I feel God intended for her to exhaust all her resources. The numerous doctors’ visits had to be exhausted then the barrage of specialist’s consultations, and only to mention the expensive medicines that each and everyone prescribed. How long did it take her to do this? The Bible says, twelve years. There is one thing that God wants us to learn from this passage of Scripture and that is that everything is either by design (creation) or allowed, including good and evil. We can get a better understanding of this by studying the Book of Job. We must realize, God has designated everything to a specific purpose, regardless whether we understand it or not. This is a hard thing to comprehend for some of us, especially those of us who are sick and infirmed. How can we tell someone suffering that this is the way God intends it to be? People have a tendency to begin to direct their feelings of hate and disapprovement of how God is handling their case. Some people hold a grudge against God all their lives without talking to Him to see His reasons or intensions to get a better understanding for our lives. We ask how God can be so distant and uncaring. How can God be so cruel and callous? There are many questions to ask about the intensions of God’s purpose, but have we taken the time it takes to inquire of God His reasons for this dilemma? It is like questioning the doctor’s decisions or specialist’s practices without first consulting with either to be able to come to an understanding of some sort. But why won’t we consult the one who allows the situations of sickness and illness?

I feel the real reason for all illnesses and sickness is for the opportunity for God to inject His divine power, wisdom, and knowledge of the situation into our lives. God allows a lot of things to happen on this earth without our permission or much less, our understanding. God encourages us to inquire of Him and ask Him, what is going on? Sometimes, God uses or allows a plethora of illnesses to get our attention just so we can be introduced to Him. Would we seek Him if we deemed we really didn’t need Him? Why seek out a doctor if we have no need of one? This particular woman that had the issue of blood didn’t know of Jesus and would have never been introduced to him if it had not been for her relentless quest for healing and restoration of her life. I feel that she was at the end off her rope when she finally decided she had to do something or face death. After her money was gone and had been turned away from everyone that knew of her condition, this woman’s last resort was to come to the one who allowed the disease to come into her life. The reason for her sickness was for God to show her who He really was, Jehovah GOD, and all that entails. All her friends and all her neighbors had heard her story over and over and over for twelve long years and still no results. But finally, one day when Jesus passed by, by faith she made her way through the hot dust and throngs of people in the way and just by faith, she touched the hem of His garment and it was all over for her illness. Unquestionably, this was the intended purpose for her life, to see and experience what faith in Jesus Christ can do for her and her situation. For twelve long years she bent the ears and brows of her friends and neighbors with her sad story. No doubt, they hated to see her coming their way just to be bothered by that sick woman. But now, everything is different, things have changed! She now has the opportunity to go back to those very ones and give praise and adoration to God for this miracle of healing! I feel this miracle of God was really for the purpose of those skeptics and doubters of God that in no other case would even give God the time of day. God chose to use this little woman with her issue of blood to work her way into lives of people that in no other way could be touched. She influenced her friends (if she had any left) and neighbors with love for her new found friend, healer of her illnesses, her LORD and Saviour, Jesus.

Undoubtedly, Solomon was telling the truth after all. Our personal experiences prove this fact of life every day we live. The truth of the matter is that it does take time for all things to culminate. Whether for good or for evil, we need to remember, it is Jehovah God who has the last say so in all things in Heaven and in Earth.

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:26-28

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