In Its Time

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. But though God has planted eternity in the hearts of men, even so, many cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end. So I conclude that, first, there is nothing better for a man than to be happy and to enjoy himself as long as he can; and second, that he should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of his labors, for these are gifts from God.

And I know this, that whatever God does is final - nothing can be added or taken from it; God's purpose in this is that man should fear the all-powerful God. Ecclesiastes 3:9-14 (TLB)

Katie Overbeek lives in Ontario, Canada. For years, Katie struggled to reconcile her ambitions and notions of success with God's timing and plan for her life. As a musician and songwriter, comparing herself to others in her field and what they were achieving was a perpetual snare.

Then during an extended maternity leave following the birth of her second son, she wrestled with the financial and physical constraints of raising two small children in a single-income home. Laying aside her career ambitions in order to care for her kids was painful. She was living her long-awaited dream of being at home with her children full time, but she struggled with a real sense of loss. She feared she was letting her life waste away while accomplishing nothing. It took a long time for her to begin seeing things differently.

The writer of Ecclesiastes described something profound about the nature of God's timing. God fulfills each beautiful promise to God's children in its time. Some flowers bloom earlier and others bloom later, but they all have their moment of beauty and glory. In the same way, God's timing is never a punishment but a distinguishing mark of our unique purpose.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to see your timing as a gift rather than a punishment. Strengthen us so that we can participate with you in your timing, in Jesus' name, amen.

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