There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
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,
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 from embracing.
–Ecclesiastes 3:1-5 NIV
As the seasons change, so do the seasons in our lives. The vitality and growth of summer is quickly replaced by the coolness and contraction of autumn. The darkness and stillness of winter loom just around the corner, making it difficult to see the hope and promise of springtime.
So it can be in our lives as well, O God. We long for those times of laughter and celebration. Even as we trudge through times of mourning and weeping, remind us again of your constant presence. Help our hearts to feel your love, our eyes to see your mercy, and our minds to perceive your grace.
While we know that there are struggles and celebrations around the world, we admit that all-too-often we struggle to lift our gaze past the horizon of our own lives. The broken relationships, frightening diagnoses, grief, and a host of other emotions wash over us like ocean waves. We fear that we will be washed out to sea, lost, helpless against the power of the water.
Help us lift up our eyes to your holy hill. Remind us that our hope is found in you. Sustain us when we cannot see the hope of tomorrow through the haze of uncertainty and despair.
There is a time for everything, and a season for everything under the heavens. In all times, and in all seasons, may we find comfort and peace in your presence.