Life is a combination of things. It has the best of times, it has the worst of times; moments of wisdom and of foolishness; seasons of light and of darkness; it springs with hope, sometimes descends in the winter of despair. Life is like a coin, sometimes you have heads, sometimes tails. Life rises and falls, it winds and meanders.
The book of Ecclesiastes contains the thoughts of “the philosopher”, a man who reflected deeply on how short and contradictory human life is, with its mysterious injustices and frustrations, and concluded that “life is useless”. He could not understand the ways of God, who controls human destiny. Yet, in spite of this, he advised people to work hard, and to enjoy the gifts of God as much and as long as they could. Many of the philosopher’s thoughts appear negative and even depressing. But the fact that this book is in the bible shows that biblical faith is broad enough to take into account such pessimism and doubt. Many have taken comfort in seeing themselves in the mirror of Ecclesiastes, and have discovered that the same bible which reflects these thoughts also offers the hope in God that gives life its greater meaning.
In the third chapter of the book, the author says that God chooses time and season for everything. “He sets the time for sorrow and the time for joy, the time for mourning and the time for dancing………”
Allow me friends, to share with you two of these seasons, which is my central focus:
a) The season of light
When things are good you are all smiles. It is when you have graduated with honors; you proposed and she said “yes”! You win that business deal; you get the promotion that you’ve been waiting for; you have a great weeding. You have healthy relationships; or God answers your prayers before you finish speaking! This is the season of light. You are on the top of the world! In the bible, Paul was in this season when he led a governor to the lord(Acts 13:12), as well as winning many souls to the kingdom of God. For Peter, when he confessed Jesus as the son of God. Esther, when she became a queen. Job, when he had all the wealth. Jesus, when he was transfigured before his disciples.
b) The dark season
But when Paul was put into prison was heart-broken. After Peter denied Jesus three times, he was depressed. When Jesus found the disciples sleeping in His hour of distress, he was grieved; Esther, was distressed when she learned about Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews. Job, when he lost all his children and property and was afflicted with a repulsive disease. When you cannot trace God in your life for long seasons and your faith begins to falter, that is your dark season.
You lose your job, your spouse or your health. You struggle in your ministry. Your friends walk out of your life, you struggle to pay rent-living from hand to mouth. You are diagonized with a terminal disease and everything seems bleak and black. You find yourself sinking into darkness, into times of doubt and pessimism. You feel that things are out of the natural order as fear consumes your faith. You face constant opposition from family, friends, colleagues-even Satan seems to have no other business on earth except to make you utterly wretched! You hear devils more than you hear the Holy Spirit. You cry all night and really wonder if God cares or exists. You find yourself in the very edge of giving up! Suicidal thoughts and feelings often cross over your mind.
Dark season is usually brought on by our own actions or sins for which God chastises us, or a season of TESTING that God allows to mold us and mature our faith. The bible repeatedly encourages us to embrace the dark season cheerfully. ”……..be glad that you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may be full of joy when his glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4:13). When you are a christian, trials have a totally different meaning. “We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance brings God’s approval, and His approval creates hope.” (Romans 5:3-4)
The beauty of the dark season
As Paul says, trials work for us a weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:17). You might be having the season of light now but don’t notice that it makes you less prayerful, less loving, lack of commitment to the things of God, and careless with salvation. But in the dark season, you are constantly on your knees; fasting and praying. You have your weapons drawn, not sheathed. You long to know God more. You desire a stronger and deeper relationship with God. You are desperate for the King of kings and Lord of lords! You very easily recognize and relate with those who are in similar states to yours. And you are very humble, teachable and easily corrected. God molds you into the person that He called you to be. Amen!