Sunday, February 27, 2011

Everything in Its Time

If I were to not believe in God, it would because of suffering. There is a lot of suffering in the world. It doesn't take long to find out how terrible this place can be. And yet God is a redeeming God.

Yesterday in church, our pastor, Ray K, preached his second sermon out of the book of Ecclesiastes. Here is a selection from the text he covered:
Ecclesiastes 3:10-15 10I have seen(N) the business that(O) God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11He has(P) made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot(Q) find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12I perceived that there is(R) nothing better for them than to be joyful and to(S) do good as long as they live; 13also(T) that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is(U) God’s gift to man. 14I perceived that whatever God does endures forever;(V) nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. 15That which is,(W) already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God(X) seeks what has been driven away.

Solomon asks some pretty big questions in this text. Pastor Ray highlighted the phrase in vs. 11 "He has made everything beautiful in its time." I guess I hadn't noticed this phrase before. The next two phrases have a massive amount of tension - God has "put eternity into man's hearts, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end." Often times, we hear the phrase "eternity in our hearts" used to defend our knowledge of God (though that is another post / master's thesis), but the connection to our personal lack of knowledge is interesting.

God gave us a taste of eternity, just enough to ask questions, as Ray puts it "why this, why that, why everything, why anything?!"

I think ultimately Solomon ends up saying that if our lens had a wide enough angle, if we could see the big picture, it would all make sense God will make everything "beautiful in it's time." Justice will be done, and He will get the glory.

I have seen this to be true and have things that I am praying God will make "beautiful in their time."

So my question is this: is it just that we need a wider angle? How have you seen God redeem suffering in your life? How have you not seen it?

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