One of the hardest part of being a minister who has served at several churches over hundreds of miles apart from one another is losing friends and siblings in Christ, and not being able to be there to pay respects, or comfort the family. This has happened twice this year, and several points over the last decade. Moving to a new ministry does not mean that I stop caring for those I said good bye to, and I feel the weight of it, often. Yet, I take comfort in the words of Solomon: For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what 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 seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, 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 for war, and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
Some of us look at the things we miss out on, the people gone before we could say goodbye, our life circumstances, and ask "what if?" yet, we miss out on the moment God gives us in the here and now. Each moment has a season and a purpose. Paul, to the Romans sums it up in this way: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) Let us know that God uses all things for us, even those things we may not like or understand, for our good, why? Because He loves us, and we are called according to His purpose. Let us, then, stop looking at our circumstances, wishing things could be different, and, instead, focus on what God is using for our good. Let is give thanks in all seasons, and rejoice in Him always. He is using even the worst things for our good!