by Carol Rusaw
I know that whatever God does lasts forever; there is no adding to it, no taking away. And he has done it all in such a way that everyone must feel awe in his presence. Whatever it has been already, and whatever is to come has been already, with God summoning each event back in its turn. Ecclesiastes 3:14-15 Revised English Bible
Does it seem like what you are going through has no end in sight? It may be waiting out the pandemic, having to stay at home while the kids are trying to learn on their computers, or wearing masks and social distancing whenever shopping for food. Or maybe it is the stress of having to take care of an ill loved one. It may be searching for a job to pay the rent or buy food and coming back empty again.
What do you do to get through bad times?
For me, I am still struggling through the unexpected loss of my husband to pancreatic cancer two years ago. I am still adjusting to his absence, but also in having to stretch limited income to pay the mortgage, to care for a son with special needs, and to fix things like basement leakages.
I am also searching for where I should go with the rest of my life. I had given training workshops on managing personal and organizational changes, but I had to retire to take care of Mike. Despite my experience in educating others, I now have trouble taking my own advice for coping with such massive, sudden changes.
“How long is this thing going to last?” we ask ourselves. “When will things begin to return to normal and get better?”
We look to God for answers, but we do not hear any clear replies. God does not seem to be responding to our pleas for help, and we become even more anxious.
I found some help from the book of Ecclesiastes. In this ancient writing is an enduring promise: bad things do not last forever. They disappear like winter’s snow, melting before crocuses pop up through the thawing dirt. God’s answer is as firm as the recurring cycles of nature, year after year, century after century, generation after generation. We can be reassured that a lack of apparent signs of His help do not mean it will never come. God ordains spring to follow winter.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV) assures us: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” God has His plans and purposes. We cannot know when a difficult season will end, but we can trust that He will use even the hardest of things for our beauty. All in His time.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Carol Rusaw has retired from teaching adults about management, leadership, and organizational development to write, paint, and consult. She has written two books and over 20 academic articles. Her current project is a book on transformational redemption based on the book of Job. In addition to her PhD in adult education and human resource development, she holds several Masters degrees including an MA in Theological Studies. You can see her art at https://www.artforthespirit/shop.
Join the conversation: What does Ecclesiastes 3:11 mean to you?