“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NIV).
The first eight verses of Ecclesiastes 3 were made famous in 1966 by the rock band, The Byrds with their hit, Turn, Turn, Turn. They took these verses and made a smash hit. The words are catchy, but easy to miss what is being communicated.
Jewish scholars interpreted “There is a time for everything” with the words, “every activity under heaven is right on schedule.” It’s hard theology, but God is involved in all the seasons or episodes of life. He may not send the seasons, but He’s there in the middle of them. Jewish scholars also assert that each season must be embraced, that fighting God is fighting the divine timing of our life calendars.
Verse 11 helps us interpret the first eight verses. The word “beautiful” is better translated “appropriate.” If we can accept life as it comes – every season, then the tough seasons will become more bearable!
God gives us a gift to help us through the difficult seasons. “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.” Eternity is a part of our spiritual DNA. There are storms that beat down on us so hard that we feel so out of place here. God puts eternity in our hearts to help us look beyond the moment.
The last phrase, however, is the most important to be embraced: “yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” God’s purposes are outside our ability to grasp. We just don’t have the software to run this program. Bewilderment and wonder are part of the journey!
It’s beautiful and appropriate. Embrace.