God's Wonderful Gift

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 laugh; A time to grieve; A time to dance; A time for 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. What does one really get from hard work? I have thought about this in connection with all the various kinds of work God has given to mankind. Everything is appropriate in its own time.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 (TLB)

Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should. Psalm 90:12 (TLB)

Jeannine Brenner is from Pennsylvania. "Let me finish typing this page," or "I'll come as soon as I make one quick phone call." As a busy pastor, Jeannine often said such things to her husband. People had expectations of her, and her responsibilities were a priority. But the page became three pages or the quick phone call lasted an hour, and the ball game was over or the sunset gone before she could join her husband.

Her thinking sounded logical, and it was easy to justify her excuses. Some day, Jeannine rationalized, we would have time for each other. Her husband never complained, but Jeannine was missing golden opportunities with the one she loved. She did not know their time together would be cut short by his fatal stroke at the age of 65.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 reminds us that "there is a time for everything." In the apostle Paul's charge to Timothy (see 1 Tim. 6:17), we learn that God provides everything for our enjoyment. Time with a spouse is meant for enjoyment, but we get caught up in an overabundance of responsibilities that keep us from enjoying the life God wants us to have. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus makes it clear that time with those he loved was important, (See Mark 6:30-32.)

Jeannine's feeble excuses stole the joy of God's precious gift of time with her husband. Though our work is important, God wants us to be happy in our daily lives.

Prayer: Dear God, help us not to let responsibilities rob us of time spent with those we love, in Jesus' name, amen.

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