My son once told me, “Cars are like shoes and trucks are like boots.” I’ve reveled Caleb’s natural, sixth sense of categories since he was 9 months old. I remember reading one of his picture books together and he pointed eagerly to a bar of soap and washcloth on the page. He immediately closed the book, grabbed my hand and insisted we walk down the hall to his bathroom where there was also a bar of soap and washcloth draped over the tub. Words weren’t even necessary for me to know he’d connected the dots!
So now it’s my turn to make a connection. His statement remind me of Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes 3, which has brought me great comfort this past week with the passing of my grandmother. Here’s what it says in verses 1-8 : “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
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,
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.”
I’m so comforted to know that God understands the stages of life – and proves Himself all sufficient through them all. God, who’s original plan was not that we should die, for that is what sin brought into this world. Yet He never turns His back on us and is there to heal every hurt this fallen world inflicts. I praise Him for that!
Throughout this past week of witnessing the last days of my grandmother, I see so many parallels to the beginning of life and the end. And Ecclesiastes confirms there’s a time for both. God has appointed for us all a time to live the life He’s given us and a time when He calls us home. There was a time my grandmother would’ve healed from a shoulder injury, but this time she didn’t. (vs. 3) There’s a time to search out the answers to life’s questions and a time to just let it be.
A sweet friend told my tearful, apologetic Grandfather, “It’s OK to cry. It’s a time to cry.” (vs 4) And it is! I’m so thankful God is with me – us, in our time of mourning. We won’t mourn forever, because it says in Psalm 30:11 “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.” I can rejoice in so many things, – memories, friends, but most of all because God is good. His goodness endures forever. Caleb’s cars, trucks, boots and shoes will soon be in the “time to throw away” category, but those who trust in the Lord may fall asleep in this world, but awake to an eternal home that never spoils, fades or perishes!! Amen!