“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven…” (Eccl 3:1, NKJV)
My cat has a new “favourite” spot: Between my eyes and the computer screen! There are only two things that will make her go away: Throwing her off, or allowing her to suck up what precious little time I have by petting her.
As I think about this, I realize there are always things competing for my time: Work, family, ministry, home and yard work, to name a few.
Worry and concern also fall into this category, as do all types of stress. Think about it: There is nothing more time-consuming than the worry about finances, than trying to repair broken relationships, than dealing with health issues, disease, cancer, etc. In fact, we are often forced to take a break from life in order to have time for to deal with these problems, and this is to say nothing of the fact that worry and stress can suck up the rest of our lives.
A bit more complicated than scratching the cat’s ears until she moves on, isn’t it?
But is the time that the problems of life demand of us really wasted?
When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, I initially saw my forced “break” from life as a total waste of time. As the “monster” continued to suck up all of my time and energy, however, I began to realize something very important: I now had time to “stop and smell the roses!” With my treatment and rehabilitation demanding physical rest, I began to notice, perhaps for the first time ever, the flowers (most would call them “weeds”) in my lawn! Beautiful! And the little hummingbird. I never even knew she was coming to my feeder.
Suddenly the people in my life also became so much more meaningful. With the cancer-stress dictating that I no longer crazily ran around trying to feed all the “time monsters,” my relationships strengthened and deepened.
Perhaps the most important thing that came from the fact that this worry ate up all my time was that I had the time to grow and strengthen my relationship with God. I learned to trust Him for everything. I learned to leave worry completely in His hands.
In the end, God provided me just the right amount of time off work to regain my strength. When I was able to return to all the former things that historically had always vied for my time, I found that the valuable lessons God taught me through the time-monster of cancer stayed with me. I began leaving all my worries in his hands, even the time-worries, and as a result, though my responsibilities haven’t lessened, I still have time to stop and smell the roses!
Is it for nothing that Jesus tells us to, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28, NKJV)? Remember, there is no trial or bad circumstance that you and I are going through that God hasn’t allowed; and when we give Him all the worry, all the time concerns of whatever it is we’re going through, He will, indeed, make, “everything beautiful in its time” (Eccl 3:11, NKJV)!
Let’s remember that, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven,” (Eccl 3:1, NKJV). Whatever it is that you are going through right now, give it to Jesus. Let Him carry the burden, and be prepared to “sit down and smell the roses.”
Oh, an Oreole family has moved into my back yard this summer, bringing me hours of joy. I wonder if I would have even noticed them before cancer “ate” up all my time…
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.