our time DNA


January 2016 (1)Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

1 For everything a moment exists, and a time for every pleasure under the sky: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pull up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break through, and a time to build up; 4 a time to cry, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

our time DNA

Solomon is not so much talking about how the world is designed as he is talking about how we are designed. In us there is an inbuilt understanding that at certain times we feel like planting, at others we feel like uprooting what is planted. It is in our DNA to mourn a tragic loss, or to dance when overwhelmed by joy. Our moments of response are encoded within us.

The reason Solomon brings this observation up is that he is going to argue that this same God has “put a desire for permanence”[1] into that time DNA. The negative moments make us long for a time when God will restore his creation to his intended perfection and permanence. Our suffering is a reaction to the adversity we suffer, but it is more than that. It is a kind of envy of our future selves.

Solomon is not saying that we should stoically accept all suffering because there is a place for it. Nor is he saying that all suffering is payment for our sins in a past life. He is saying that suffering is part of reality as it is now. In this fallen, broken world, suffering is part of the mix. Rejoice when you can, trust God when you cannot.

LORD, thank you for the times of dancing, and for your presence with us in the times of mourning. Thank you for the hope of permanence that you have built into our DNA. We long for the fulfilment of that promise.

[1] Ecclesiastes 3:11.


About Jefferson Vann

Jeff is a former Christian missionary.
This entry was posted in change, discernment, Solomon, suffering, trust and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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