The open bible for devotion

Devotion – April 2021

Everything in Its Time

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

One of my favourite images is that of the “4-season tree”. You may have seen it, but if you haven’t let me describe it to you. The image is of the same tree, but in each of the four seasons of the year. In summer, the tree is full of lush, green leaves, basking in the sunshine. In autumn, the leaves have turned brilliant shades of red, orange and brown and they are starting to float to the ground. In winter, the tree is bare, all of its leaves have fallen and it appears barren and empty. In spring the tree is once again full of hope and promise, its branches heavy with flowering blossoms.

This tree and its many seasons are a great image for us and our lives too. As the writer of Ecclesiastes points out, there are seasons in our lives as well. Times when we rejoice in hope and promise, and times when we grieve in loss and barrenness. Times where we feel buffeted by the winds and also times when we bask in the sunshine of love and laughter. The one thing that doesn’t change in our lives however are the truths of God and his word.

Truth is always true, and we can trust that what our God says to us in his word is true. When he says to us: “I will never leave you or forsake you” and “I have a plan to prosper you” and “You are my child”, we can hold onto those truths in each season. The great joy of our friendship with God is that he never changes, his love and truth are always there. So, whatever season you are living in today, whether you are laughing or crying, planting or uprooting, searching or giving up, know that your God is right there with you, and his promises and truths remain for you. In each season, there are often things for us to learn about ourselves, and God, if we would just stop and be still and allow God to speak to us and teach us. What season are you in today, and what do you think God is teaching you in the midst of it?

Prayer: Dear God, I thank you for the seasons of our world. I thank you for the sunshine of summer, and the cold of winter. I thank you for the colours of autumn and the new hope of spring. I pray for those times in my life too, the times of rejoicing and celebrating, but also the times of grieving and letting go. I thank you that in each season you are with me, and your truths of love, hope, peace, and joy remain. Amen.

About the Author

Elise von Stanke

Hi, my name is Elise, and I am currently living in Newcastle, NSW. I am married to Mathew, who is the pastor at LifeWay Lutheran Church, Newcastle. We have three gorgeous children, Lily (10), Aaron (7), and Noah (3). I am a Primary School teacher, who loves music, making things with fabric, felt and wool and having conversations over coffee. I also love sharing the amazing news of Jesus’ love and hearing others share their experiences with me.

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