A Time For Everything
1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build.
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. - Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
I recently listened to a message by Pastor Steven Furtick, where he talks about managing the middle. The message was titled, “It’s Mine To Manage” and it made me think about the time between each verses above.
The middle, sandwiched between our time to be born and our time to die.
This message really hit home for me and I think it might for you as well, so I’ll share a link below.
A time to be born (middle) And a time to die.
This morning, as I was thinking about the many aspects of being a mom and trying to raise Godly human beings. I stopped and thought about myself in that middle space between being a child and becoming an adult.
I don’t know about you but I didn’t manage my teen years as well as my older self would have liked.
Some how, in the middle part, AKA the time of life where I was desperately seeking freedom, I made a lot of adult like decisions but with a very child like mindset and outlook.
In that moment, I didn’t see it that way, which made me ask myself, whats my current middle?
I’m realizing I still have a lot to learn when it comes to managing the middle.
The Current Middle
In the last Ecclesiastes blog, I shared a short version of my life story. I also shared how hard the last few years have been for me.
Having a career where I experienced growth and the blessings of God in a way I never had, followed by a relentless tug on my heart to step away from it all, was hard to say the least.
It took me nearly two years to step back from a beautiful business and Team I had poured my heart into building.
During that time I was praying for God to empty me of myself, fill me with more of him and show me what he truly created me for.
The problem is, as he started to reveal things to me, it scared me to death!
Now I realize, I am currently living in the middle of the blessings that God has already given me and the future that I know he has for me!
I am in the middle!
That place where I know he told me to rest and trust him but some days it is very evident, that I don’t know how.
I can’t see the next, I just know its there and I have no clue how its coming or when.
Have you ever felt that way?
Stuck in the middle?
You’re believing God for the next but the right now is so overwhelming at times, you stop managing it well.
Even worse, you start to question why.
Oh if we could just see what was next.
Let me give you another example.
Stepping away from my job gave me a new blessing. The blessing of being a FULL TIME STAY AT HOME MOM!
If you and I share the same blessing, then we both know that managing this blessing can be a little overwhelming at times.
Yet, we know that its the most important calling on our lives.
But what if we still have big dreams planted in our heart?
How do we celebrate this blessing when we feel like our dreams may never happen?
Can I be honest?
Some days I feel like my dreams, and even the promises that God has spoken over me, will never come to fruition.
There are days when I feel like my entire existence is solely to ensure that my husband and kids lives run smoothly.
I know … some of you just gasped at me sharing that and may even judge me for it, but I’ve learned to care less about what others think about me in the moment and more about what my testimony might allow God to do in their lives instead.
This is my life and I am doing my best, one day at a time and sometimes that means, I fumble my way forward.
Then you are in good company.
Here’s the point.
I am learning to manage these thoughts and I refuse to give them the power. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that I’ve had them and at times they have stood in the way of my joy and I dare say, my progress in this middle.
Would it be fair to say that you’ve struggled with your own middle?
The fact is, there IS a time for everything under the sun, even for the struggles.
My heart is for us to learn from and grow through them all.
Not to be so ashamed that we try to ignore them or act like they aren’t even there for the sake of saving face.
Chapter 4 talks about oppression, toil and friendlessness. Then verse 9 - 12 give us a this beautiful truth.
9 Two are better than one,
because they give a good return for their work:
10 If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
The reason I share my story, even in the middle, is because I don’t want to stand alone and I don’t want you too either.
God has to be one of our strands but we get to choose if we connect to God’s people too.
We don’t have to go through this journey of life alone. In fact we were created to do life together.
I know this is just a little blog floating around the sea of the internet world but I pray it brings a word you need, a friend to connect with and encouragement in your middle.
How can we fully grasp and except that there truly is a time for everything under the sun, good and bad?
Would it be fair to say that you’ve struggled with your own middle?
How can we celebrate the blessings God has already given us, in a way that helps us manage the middle, even when we can’t see or fully understand the end?
Dear Heavenly Father, show me how to manage the middle. Help a praise continually be in my heart and on my lips. I confess that has been a struggle for me in this season.
Convict me when I am tempted to speak or act in a way that would hinder me from managing the middle well. Give me the wisdom and courage to keep growing forward and not give up.
Lord I know your plans are to prosper me, not to harm me but when I can’t see or even imagine what that means, help me to fully trust you with everything that comes in between.
Even when it hurts, help me stay focused on you and the fact that your outcome will always be greater. Help me fully believe that is more than enough.
Once again, I would love to hear from you in the comment section below.
Have you been reading Ecclesiastes with me or will you be starting soon?
What scriptures are speaking to you right now?
And don’t forget the questions and your testimony too! You never know when something as simple as sharing here, may be used at just the right time in someone else’s life. So thank you for sharing your thoughts and this blog.