God’s Sovereign Hand and Our Cycles of Life

by Pastor Bryan Knight

Growing up around my dad and his dad, I remember hearing them speak of Autumn being their favorite time of the year. As a child I was confused as to why, to us kids it was a return to the school year, colder weather and the beginning of the end of the leaves. Now, I know why Autumn was their favorite. Just like my dad and his dad I sweat very easily in any situation where I’m exerting myself. When I sweat I grow agitated. It’s in these moments I also laugh as I remember my dad working on the house and sweat would drip from his nose and fall on whatever he was working on. I remember cutting wood with my grandpa and seeing the same image, but grandpa always carried a bandana in his back pocket for the sweat.

When I see the seasons begin to change I think of Ecclesiastes 3, I’m sure you do too. In verse 1 we read, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.” Whether you choose to use appointed time or season we understand that life comes in cycles or periods. When I was the kid cycle I played and helped my dad and grandpa, but I don’t remember paying much attention to sweating like them. Now, in my appointed time of adulthood I understand fully the misery brought on by sweat and just like my grandpa I have my own sweat towel!

But this article isn’t about the sweat of our brows, it’s about God’s sovereign hand involved in our cycles of life. You see verse one is aided by verse 11, “He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.” We understand with this verse that though things may come to an end it is because another “thing”, appointed time/season is about to start. Just as there are cycles in our personal lives, there are cycles at every level, up to and including God’s design of the universe. I write this article to remind us all that though things may end, they end in order to allow other things to begin. So, the end of an appointed time also means the beginning of an appointed time.

Ecclesiastes 3:2-8

2 A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.

3 A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.

4 A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.

5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.

6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.

7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.

8 A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.