- Kerri S. Wilson
Below is my most recent article that has been published in the August 2017 issue of Pentecostal Herald, a religious publication. My copy came in the mail today, and these words I wrote several weeks ago are an encouragement to me this afternoon. I’ve decided to share my article with you as my blog post. Maybe my words will encourage you as well.
By Kerri S. Wilson
The notion of time travel is intriguing to us because it presents us with the potential power to change what we don’t like about our past and control how we want things to be in our future. But no matter how much we would like to do so, we cannot change the past. And even though the decisions we make today will impact our future, we cannot see ahead to know how things will turn out nor leap into the future to set things in motion for how we want things to be.
The preacher in Ecclesiastes explained, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, NKJV).
It is our human nature to try to control everything that happens—we are inclined to preserve ourselves. However, we all experience seasons we like and seasons we don’t like. Again the preacher in Ecclesiastes admonished us, “In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: surely God has appointed the one as well as the other” (Ecclesiastes 7:14, NKJV). In other words, God is in control, and He allows both good and bad things in our lives; He allows it to rain on both the just and the unjust so that we will know He is in charge, not us. (See Matthew 5:45.)
Paul said, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13, NKJV).
I appreciate Paul’s encouragement. However, for me, contentment isn’t always an easy place to find. Even though I have the same ability as Paul to do all things through Christ’s strength, including being content in the midst of adversity, it’s a struggle to get there and stay there. Even so, my journey with the Lord has allowed me to discover reliance on Him through all of my seasons—both good and bad. I have experienced His strength being made perfect when I feel I am at my weakest point. And I have found contentment even when things are not going as well as I would like.
I often look back to my past to see where God has brought me from and what He has brought me through. And when I look back, I can see Him standing in the midst of all of my days. Seeing Him there removes my desire to go back and change the worst parts. Remembering how He carried me through stormy seasons and steadied me with seasons of rest prepares me to trust Him through whatever future season I am sure to face. The decision I make today to trust Him is what has the greatest impact on my future. And I am able to trust because of what I have learned from my past.
Time travel is impossible. Though I am not physically able to return to my past to remove what I don’t like nor jump into my future to set its course toward what I consider to be a more perfect way, I can allow my past to teach me how to embrace my future.
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NKJV). I think we are well advised to remember to consider our time wisely.