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A Time for Everything

There is a right time for everything: A time to be born; A time to die; A time to plant; A time to harvest; A time to kill; A time to heal; A time to destroy; A time to rebuild; A time to cry; A time to laugh; A time to grieve; A time to dance; A time for scattering stones; A time for gathering stones; A time to hug; A time not to hug; A time to find; A time to lose; A time for keeping; A time for throwing away; A time to tear; A time for repair; A time to be quiet; A time to speak up; A time for loving; A time for hating; A time for war; A time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (TLB)

Rachael Katharine Elliott, from Illinois, walked around the cornfields near her home. They were empty, barren, void of any life. The wind was the only sound in the low sloping hills. Rachael could relate to those empty fields. She was between jobs, living with her parents, and waiting for someone, anyone, to respond to her job inquiries. She felt like a failure. What had she done by quitting her teaching job and moving back home after three years abroad? Had she misheard God's guiding voice? Had she done the wrong thing? Like the cornfields not yet planted, Rachael was empty.

As she gazed at the field, Rachael remembered a conversation she had with a farmer years ago. They stood at the edge of an empty field like this one, and Rachael asked if he would be planting soon. "Not yet," he said. "We have to wait for the right time, or nothing will grow." AS Rachael stood now alone by the cornfield, she realized that "empty" was just what she needed to be in that moment. She wanted job offers, but maybe, like the field, she wasn't ready. It wasn't time. Maybe if the offers came too soon, nothing would grow in her life.

It's easy to think of a time of waiting as a time that is wasted. But God, like the farmer, knows there is a time for everything. As the empty field waits for the farmer, we can wait for God's timing.

Prayer: All-knowing God, give us the strength to wait even when the world seems to tell us we shouldn't. Give us your peace when we can't see the next step to take, in Jesus' name. Amen.


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