Last night I spent awhile thinking about our first church service back together at Lockport. I’m not sure when that will be (I have a hopeful date in mind but am not ready to share it), but I know it will happen. This current situation is temporary. It will not last forever. I was contemplating what we should do. Should it start with an outdoor service or a regular inside service? Should we have Sunday school and evening activities? What guidelines should we promote? What extra steps should we take if we celebrate the Lord’s supper? There is a desire to protect people, but also a realization that we need a return to normalcy even if it is a “new normal.” I do not yet have all those answers.
What I do know for sure is that it will not always be like this. The strange thing is that we can make that statement any day of any year in any situation. If life on this globe is characterized by anything, it is that nothing stays the same. We can watch children playing and be glad that they are enjoying the day, because we know that childhood only lasts for a while. A newly-married couple goes on their honeymoon and enjoys that special time together with the full realization that it is a brief time in what they plan on being a lifetime together. A young mom is up in the middle of night with a fussy baby and continues on because she knows that night (and those days) will pass. A student works hard because they know that graduation will come. Many work hard knowing that there will be a time when they can’t work.
Life has its seasons. Some are full of joy and some are characterized by tears. Most are a mixture of both, but none of them are forever. There is no better expression of that than what is found in Ecclesiastes 3:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. (Eccl. 3:1-8)
The seasons come and go, and then, of course, life itself comes to an end – or does it? The instructions of the Word are clear. We are to enjoy the pleasures of life that the Lord gives in each season. We are also to endure the hardships that He brings into our lives as well. We do so because we know that for those who have put their trust in Christ Jesus there is a purpose in them all. Paul reminds us in Romans 8:18 that things here are not worthy to even be compared to what lies ahead for the child of God.
As pastor and friend, I urge you to trust the Lord with your very life – your life in this world and you eternal life. Do so on a day by day basis. Enjoy or endure the days depending on what they are, but always do so with an eye toward the future. We should look to the future days and weeks and think about life after this current time is past, but even more so we must look to the years after our certain death, and live these days with that in mind!