Great Plains Daily Devotional for 4/21/2023: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Today please be in prayer for

Geneva UMC
Prairie Rivers District
Grand Island: First-Faith UMC
Prairie Rivers District
Grand Island Trinity UMC
Prairie Rivers District
Grand Island Trinity UMC
Prairie Rivers District

Today's Lectionary Text

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

There’s a season for everything
    and a time for every matter under the heavens:
    a time for giving birth and a time for dying,
    a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted,
    a time for killing and a time for healing,
    a time for tearing down and a time for building up,
    a time for crying and a time for laughing,
    a time for mourning and a time for dancing,
    a time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones,
    a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces,
    a time for searching and a time for losing,
    a time for keeping and a time for throwing away,
    a time for tearing and a time for repairing,
    a time for keeping silent and a time for speaking,
    a time for loving and a time for hating,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Today's Devotional

Last Thursday the patch of weeds I call my front lawn was just a dead-looking brown mass of last year’s tufts of plant life with the occasional bright yellow dandelion popping up. On Friday night we had rain – real, measurable moisture falling from the sky for long enough to amount to a little over an inch falling in my neighborhood. Monday morning, that patch of weeds had turned into green patches of chickweed with its bright purple flowers along with the ever-cheerful dandelions. On Tuesday morning I hauled out the mower and ran it over the front weed patch. There are still blooming weeds for the bees to feed on but the tall stems with fuzzy heads are gone for a day or two. 

Lawn mowing season has arrived. And, just as the writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us, there is a season for everything under heaven. I never cease to be amazed with how quickly green leaves and grass blades appear in the spring after the first rain. It is a phenomenon I came to appreciate a great deal while living in the Flint Hills of eastern Kansas as pastureland was burned each spring and in a matter of days shoots of green grass began to appear. 

The writer reminds us that God has given us many kinds of seasons in life, and some are not so joyful. Some of those seasons come right alongside seasons of joy. In the midst of the greening of the world in spring there are people experiencing grief, loss, and despair, who cannot see hope anywhere in the season they are experiencing. We all face moments when we cannot see hope through the darkness of the moment. 

Yet the greening of the world as spring unfolds speaks to me of hope. This IS the season when hope abounds – the season in which we celebrate the hope of Easter. For those in the northern hemisphere, spring is the season of an open and empty tomb, of promises fulfilled, and of a sense of joy unfolding within us as we embrace the promise of life lived in resurrection faith. The dark seasons of life will come to us all, but the hope of that empty tomb is always waiting for us to rediscover it. 

Mowing season will go on for months – and I will lose my enthusiasm for it long before it ends. But there is always another season awaiting me and I know that whatever that season might bring, God has provided an alternative season. 

-- Robbie Fall, retired elder 

Prayer for Reflection

God of promises fulfilled, help me to find hope and joy in whatever season I find myself. Amen. 


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