Ecclesiastes 3:2 “A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;”
Thirty times in one chapter, God uses the phrase “a time.” Apparently, time is important to God. This is why God says in Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” God knows that time is short, and you only have so much time in life to accomplish what He has placed you on this earth to do. However, the times that God places us in are important, and each time in life is critical to you becoming what God wants you to be. Let me share several observations about time that God is trying to teach in this chapter.
First, you only have so much time with good and bad. God contrasts times in this chapter to show you that you will have good and bad in life. One of the problems many face is that they only focus on the bad times and fall into self-pity. Just as there is good, there must be bad. When you are living in the good times, you must enjoy them because the bad times are coming. However, when you are living in the bad times, don't despair, the good times will come again. All time ends, so enjoy the time you have with both good and bad.
Second, you cannot have one without the other. What I mean by this statement is that you cannot have good without bad, and you cannot have bad without good. You want to get, but you cannot get without losing. You want to keep, but you cannot keep without casting away. You want to reap, but you cannot reap without planting. God is saying that you cannot have the good that you want without having to put up with the bad that comes with it. You want to have times of laughter, but you cannot enjoy laughing without enduring times of sorrow. My friend, if all you had was the good, then good would no longer be good. It is the bad that you must endure in life that causes you to enjoy the good.
We recently had a hard winter in Oklahoma. We had a record ice storm, and just a couple of months later, we had a record snowstorm with record low temperatures. What this winter makes me want is for springtime and summer to quickly come. I don't know if I have looked forward to spring and summer as much as I have this year. The spring and summer of this year would not be anticipated if we had not had the hard winter. Likewise, you cannot enjoy the good of life without having to go through bad times.
Third, learn from each time in life. Each time in life has lessons that can help you for the next time that you must go through. Don't try to jump through the times of life that you are going through because each time has lessons for you to learn, and each time is preparing you for the next time. Too many people want to rush the season they are in to get to the next season, but the season you are in is what is preparing you to enjoy the next season. If you rush the season, you will ruin the enjoyment of the next season of life that you will go through.
Fourth, enjoy the times you have because one day you won’t have them. My friend, one day what you have will only be a memory. Enjoy what you have so that your memories are not regrets. Many people have wasted the time they have and have missed the enjoyment of that season only to wish they could go back, but you can never return to where you used to be. If you enjoy each time that you are living in, you will never live your life with regret.