This morning I was reading Ecclesiastes 3: 1-15: “A Time for Everything; There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted and so on.”
One commentator says of this passage, “Our existence in this world is a mixture of joy and sorrow, harmony and conflict, and life and death.”
This is so true. Life is very cyclical – we find ourselves in times of great joy, such as over the birth of a new born child, and then, with the death of a loved one, we move into a time of sorrow. We experience a time of health and then an illness can change everything. And we move from contentment to worry with the news of the down turn in the economy.
The world itself experiences times of peace and times of war. It wasn’t long ago that we saw the wall between east and west torn down, and yet that sense of peace did not last long – it all changed after 9/11.
Nature, too, reveals the cycle every year as we experience times of sowing and of harvest.
This morning while in the gym I could hear the children in the house next door. In a span of 15 minutes they went from laughing to crying, from playing to arguing, and then back to laughing again. They must have gone through this cycle three times. I could also hear their parents –correcting the children for misbehaviour, saying, “Eat your breakfast”, “stop fighting”, and so on.
Even though the children may not have been happy with their parents getting upset with them and telling them what to do, that didn’t change the fact that the parents loved and cared for the children and were only acting out of this care. It reminded me of our relationship with our heavenly Father; regardless of where we are in the cycle of life – a time of laughter or sorrow, celebrating birth or mourning over death, in a time of peace or a time of war – He loves us and is never changing.
We need to remind ourselves, as the writer of Ecclesiastes 3:14 does, that “everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him”.
Present circumstances are not to be used to determine whether the Father loves us. A great lesson learned this morning from some young children.
I recommend we all take the time every now and then from our busy schedules and observe and listen to the children around us. They have a great deal to teach us about life, God, and ourselves.
Until next time,
Executive Director – Villages of Hope-Africa
 Garrett, D. A. (1998). The Poetic and Wisdom Books. In D. S. Dockery (Ed.), Holman concise Bible commentary: Simple, straightforward commentary on every book of the Bible (D. S. Dockery, Ed.) (246). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.