A devotional for women, featuring the New Living Translation
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New Living Translation - Women’s Devotional
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Monday February 5th, 2018
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1, NLT
The first few verses of Ecclesiastes 3 remind me of a song from my distant past. Long before I knew what it meant to have a personal relationship with the Lord, Turn, Turn, Turn by the Byrds was played at my high school graduation ceremony. The song begins by quoting a version of these words from Solomon. I liked the song, but I don’t remember ever wondering what all the “turning” was about. I probably would have guessed it had to do with the seasons turning. I didn’t know the source of the song.

What I didn’t realize then is that God is the source of all life (Num. 16:22). He makes everything perfect in its season. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them (Rom. 8:28).

When Solomon says in verse 1, “there is … a time,” I appreciate just how fleeting that time is. He doesn’t say, “there is time”; he tells us there is “a time.” Psalm 102:11 points out that life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. When the Scripture refers to “everything,” I’m reminded there is nothing new under heaven. God has seen all that has happened, is happening, and will happen under heaven. Whatever our circumstances, they are not unique. It is also a comfort to think of our shameful, difficult, or unhealthy situations as lasting only a period of time or for a “season.”

Solomon writes later in chapter 3 that God has planted eternity in the human heart. Eternity cannot be found in life’s cycles. The secret to peace with God is to determine, accept, and value God’s perfect timing. We have to keep turning back to him. To doubt God’s timing is to move ahead without his advice. All things apart from God are empty and pointless. Solomon affirms the value of knowledge, relationships, work, and pleasure, but only in their proper place. No joy or contentment is possible without God. We should strive to know and love God. He is the giver of wisdom, knowledge, and joy. Every moment and every season is another opportunity to turn, turn, turn back to him.
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