A Time to Refrain

Many of us have lived for well over a year without hugs. Sure, there have been a few precious hugs on occasion…very cautious hugs at that, but definitely not what we were used to.

Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter three, summed it up succinctly:

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Happy Sunday.

No Matter What

Here is a verse that had me baffled for awhile. The promise is so promising that I didn’t expect to experience anything but wonderful events in my life.

However, what followed after reading Jeremiah 29:11 in 1995 was anything but promising.

Through the years, I suffered broken bones, business loss, cancer, heart disease, and the death of the second love of my life,

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

These are the plans you have for me Lord? Forgive me if I don’t seem too excited to embrace them!

But embrace them I did. My bones healed; caregiving replaced retailing; I survived lung cancer and heart disease, and grief gave way to peaceful acceptance. Prosperity isn’t always of monetary value. Believe me, I am prosperous in more ways than one.

The point is to keep on believing in God’s good, despite the disasters life throws at us.

Through it all, my faith stayed strong…no matter what.

A Time to Embrace

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing; (Ecclesiastes 3:5)

To me there is always a time to embrace. In my mind embracing means hugging and I LOVE hugging! The only time to refrain from embracing is when we’re busy with other things…and of course when it might be inappropriate to embrace. As usual I’m not sure what Solomon had in mind with this verse, but it keeps my brain active. Now about the stones…

How many times have we stopped to pick up a stone just to toss it into the distance…or to skip it across the water of a river, lake or ocean? And how many times have we walked along a beautiful sandy beach gathering smooth stones into a cloth sack or a basket? Some of my little great-grandchildren love to play with stones; sorting, piling, counting, or just caressing the stony smoothness.

However, the Bible can be quite allegorical and the stones may not mean stones at all.  I’ll leave that for the scholars, though, because to me stones are stones and I even have a few around my house as conversation pieces.

Tomorrow: A Time to Get and a Time to Lose