Read: Eccles 3:1-15
Reflect: I have a dear friend who lives in Florida. Hurricane Ian missed her home, but she has endured worse storms. Over the past several years she lost her only adult son to cancer and then within a year my friend Sally (name has been changed) was also diagnosed with the same type of cancer. Their journey has gone way beyond my understanding. Sally’s doctor has openly told her that he does not understand how she is still alive as her body has endured countless medical treatments and procedures. She is fighting a merciless opponent. Hasn’t this family seen enough grief?
Ecclesiastes chapter three brings us to the mysteries of the ebb and flow of life and the contrasts of joy and sorrow: A season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.. It’s like the waves of the ocean which churn in and out. I have difficulty shifting gears from joy to sorrow and then reversing from sorrow to joy. It is bewildering to walk alongside those I love who are suffering.
I know from Scripture that the timing of our mortal lives is enmeshed in God’s symphonic plan and I try to bend my mind to understand. Scripture says, He (God) has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, without the possibility that mankind will find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Is that what whispers in the back of my heart and mind? God has placed the vastness of eternity in me because I am made in the image of the eternal God. My heart becomes restless when I try to understand this. St. Augustine’s aptly said, You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they can find peace in You.
My heart can become troubled as I try to make sense of this life. I daily have to choose to turn all of the tides of my life into the hands of my Heavenly Father Who understands the mysteries of all my seasons. However much my present life is a mystery to me, I choose to trust. He calls me not only to trust, but also to dance as I find my rhythm in His timing. These lyrics say it well:
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder. You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger. May you never take one single breath for granted. God forbid love ever leave you empty handed. I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean. Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens. Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance, and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance. I hope you dance….I hope you dance. (Lean Rimes: Hope You Dance)
My beloved Sally, and other dear friends of mine whose hearts are placed in eternity, I hope we dance!