“To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up [that which 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 get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, 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 of war, and a time of peace.
What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
He hath made every [thing] beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 (KJV)
This has been a difficult week; the deaths of missionary friends brought a subsequent roller-coaster of emotions: joy and sorrow, peace and pain, hope and loss, faith and doubt, trust and fear. Opposites. How can that be? How do we deal?
I realize that these are natural, normal feelings of mourning, especially when we have the hope and promise that these two young people are now in the glorious presence of their heavenly Father.
But I also thought about how there are two natures in me, two “voices” that vie daily for my heart and soul. The old me, my sinful nature; and the new me, a new creation in Christ. While God’s Word tells me that I am a new creature, forgiven and washed clean, I still struggle with my old sin nature, which Satan tries to seduce and to use to break me apart.
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” ~ Ephesians 4:22-24 (KJV)
“Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” ~ Colossians 3:9-10 (KJV)
“Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
Through Christ Jesus, I am a new creature. The old is passed. I don’t have to be a slave to my sinful desires, thoughts, deeds. All things are new. Even my mind!
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” ~ Romans 12:2 (KJV)
“That ye may with one mind [and] one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ Romans 15:6 (KJV)
“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” ~ 1 Corinthians 2:16 (KJV)
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)
I can use the sound mind of Christ, with the power of the Holy Spirit, to stand up against my old nature. Daily I can take that old sin nature, my fleshly desires and doubts and deeds, and crucify it. Dying to my old self, I can take up Jesus’ righteousness and walk with Him, in His ways.
Oh, and I know that God takes all the brokenness and ugliness and sin and death, and He makes “every thing beautiful in His time”. 🙂
(Check out the song from the band Gungor ~ “You Make Beautiful Things”)