Daily Devotional

Ecclesiastes 3:3b

A time to break down, and a time to build up…

Ecclesiastes 3 begins by stating that there is a time for everything. When we look at the list that follows, we’d probably only want half the things that it says there is a time for. I know I’d much rather laugh than weep. I’m not much of a dancer, but it sounds better than mourning. Right about now we’re all likely a little tired of having a time to “refrain from embracing.”

One thing I’ve been thinking a lot about is the second part of verse 3 that tells us there is both a time to build up and a time to break down. This is one of those things that always seemed somewhat confusing to me. Why would there ever need to be a time to break things down? As I look at the past year (especially the last 9 months) I see a lot of new things that were built up in my life, but for that to happen I can also see some things that first needed to be broken down.

Let me be clear, I’m not saying I’ve enjoyed the “breaking down” process, but on the other side of some of it, I can look back and see that it was for the best. I once heard someone say, “God loves us enough to set the broken bone.” I can’t remember when or where I heard that, but it’s always stuck with me. A bone that is left unset might avoid some temporary pain, but it will only lead to greater pain and discomfort down the road. Setting a bone may not seem like the loving thing to do in the moment, but it’s far more loving than leaving it to heal out of place.

As we begin a New Year, especially in light of the year we just ended, I’m surer than ever that God’s ways are far above my own. There is so much that I would do differently if I were in control of things, but what a mess that would be! There is much that I don’t understand and likely never will, but what I do know is that God knows what He’s doing; He knows what’s happening, what will happen, and how all things come together. He doesn’t guarantee us that our circumstances will always be good, and yet even when we are in the midst of a season of things breaking down, of things not going the way we hoped or wanted, we still know God is always good.

Whatever circumstances you find yourself in the midst of as you begin this New Year, remember Him who goes before You and goes with you through it all. You are never alone and never outside of His view. May God bless you in this year ahead and I hope you have a very happy New Year!
"English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers."