Bible Society of South Africa

Loss and joy - 9 November 2023

By Ewald Schmidt

Bible text(s)

A Time for Everything

1Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses.

Ecclesiastes 3:1GNBOpen in Bible reader

4He sets the time for sorrow and the time for joy,

the time for mourning and the time for dancing,

Ecclesiastes 3:4GNBOpen in Bible reader

Everything changes in life and in our journey of life, there are different seasons. We do not like the idea of mourning very much. Mourning is caused by intense loss in our lives. We mourn when a loved one dies or when relationships do not work out. We mourn when we lose precious possessions along the way. When we mourn, we are confronted with the deepest human emotion, where we feel overwhelmed. We wonder if we will be able to bear the loss. This verse wants to encourage us that mourning is not a permanent state of existence. There are times of mourning in our lives, but like all other times, they will also pass.

We remember that Jesus taught us that we are blessed when we are mourning, for we will be comforted (Matthew 5:4). Believers mourn about the state of this world, we mourn all the hate and violence that flourish now, in so many places. When we mourn, it leads us to prayer. It propels us to look for ways of how we can be a part of God’s solution and how our love could make a difference.

Times of mourning pass. However, on the other side of mourning, are times where we are dancing with joy. I have the privilege of being a marriage official. One of my most treasured moments is when I am invited to the wedding feast afterwards. It is a beautiful moment when a young couple, just married, engages in their first dance. My silent prayer for them is that they will be blessed, so that they will dance together through all the challenges that life will throw at them. A dance is such a beautiful image for the journey of life. We dance because we belong. From the earliest times, societies had their own unique dances around the fire. When you danced with others, you belonged, you were part of something greater than yourself. When you danced the dance, you belonged to the tribe. A dance engages us, it draws us in, it energises us and makes us euphorically happy. And God has created us to enjoy it. We may dance, like King David, with joy before the Lord.

We cannot mourn the whole time and we cannot dance all the time. When it is time for mourning, God will carry us through. When it is time to dance, dance with your whole heart and enjoy it, for these times also do not last forever.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the seasons in my life. Thank you for carrying me through when I am in times of mourning. Thank you that you are the Rock on which my life is built. Thank you for good times when I may dance with joy. Thank you that I may dance, because I am alive and because I belong. Thank you for the one I am dancing with … thank you for good times! Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.16
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