Coming And Going

January 5, 2018
by Julie Bowles

Ecclesiastes 3:1 – There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. (NIV)

Seasons in life are just as real as seasons in nature. Yes, some seasons are quick, while some are much longer, and at times, we wish that they would just move on.

For me, the season was fall, with winter looming in the not-too-distant future. Mom had been living with us since last January, and in September, her house was sold. The decision to sell was not an easy one. Even though mom knew that she couldn't live there, she had to make the decision when to sell. Once that decision was made, the task of packing and moving almost 29 years of belongings began. We had moved a few bits and bobs over the previous months, but the balance remained untouched.

I must admit that I didn't even know where to start as I wandered from room to room opening closets and drawers. I eventually started with the smallest room, and I was excited to text my success to a friend of mine. She shared in my triumph, even if the smallest room in the house was the bathroom.

On the final packing day, feeling weary and overwhelmed, I arrived at the house and sat in the car looking towards the house. Many photos had been taken, but I wanted one final look to hold in my mind's eye. Just as I was about to get out of the car, a very special song came on the radio by Casting Crowns: Oh My Soul. As I sat and listened, it gave me the lift that I needed to complete my task.

As I locked the door for what would be the second-last time, I left feeling sad and empty. I must admit that I had so soon forgotten the song that I had heard a few hours before. My mom had been unable to help in the packing of the house, so as I drove home in silence, I pondered whether I had kept the right things. Was I doing right for her? As I pulled into the driveway on that late September afternoon, there in my front yard was a single red rose in bloom. That same rose bush had bloomed on the day of my dad's funeral nine years before.

It was then that I began to reflect with gratitude to God on the past three days that had been unseasonably warm and sunny. Each box that I had brought into our home had been unpacked, and a place for everything had been found. Each item of furniture had fit perfectly into the space for it in our home.

What is now resonating with me is the wording in today's Scripture: "There is a time … for every activity" — not just the fun stuff or the mundane, but "for every activity". Therefore, Jesus is with us in everything that we do. When we fail to recognize this, it doesn't mean that He isn't there for us. In fact, it means exactly the opposite, as His Word says, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5b NIV)

Psalm 121:8 – The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (NIV)

Prayer: Dear Lord, we are sorry for the times when we failed to see Your hand upon us. Help us to recognize You in all that we say and do. We thank You for Your presence in all our seasons and activities. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Julie Bowles <julieanni@rogers.com>
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Julie.


    Dear Julie
    I know of what you speak.


    I know exactly what you describe. Thank you for sharing this message.


    Julie, so pleased to see a devotional from you this morning. I always enjoy your writing.


    you are a precious jewel, a number one daughter. Thank you for the devotional. It is strong and helpful.


    Dear Julie Bowles,
    I like your conclusion of trust in God, our Lord. He IS here for us.


    Dear Julie, This devotional is beautifully written and lovingly expresses our seasons that He guides our steps. Thank God for His tender reminders of His presence.
    (NV)


    Feeling for you and understanding some of your emotions, Julie.
    A beautiful message. Thank you for sharing.
    A blessed New Year to you and yours.


    As we grow older our things become exactly that, just things. I’m sure your mom was grateful that you looked after it all for her, a huge job.
    God bless you. Thanks for your poignant message.


    Thank you, Julie, for sharing this life changing experience with us and the lesson it taught. Indeed, our Saviour and Lord is always with us in every season of life. The other devotional that comes to my inbox bore the same message. Amazing how God always affirms what He wants us to remember. Blessings.


    Julie – I LOVED this message. So often we ask God for his help and then go about on our own forgetting about the request. The blooming of that red rose was a wonderful sign of God’s abiding love for us and his ever-present presence. I hope that all will go smoothly now with your mother settling in to your home. Keep writing and God bless you.


    Dear Julie
    Thank you for your beautiful testimony and devotional. It reminded me of when my Mom moved. I love it that you talked about the blooming rose.
    I just love how God sends His messages to us. May He bless you and your family with good health and much happiness as you work for Him.


    Good word Julie. My daughter and her family moved in with me recently. We too had to pack their belongings, plus l had to go through the house here room by room, deciding what would go and what would stay to make room for them, including their dogs and cats! With the guidance of the Holy Spirit the move went so smoothly with everything fitting in all the right places. The transition couldn’t have gone any better!
    So glad things worked out for you and your mom.
    Blessings.


    Thank you, Julie, for your warm and beautiful reminder of the ‘seasons’ in our lives, and how thankful we should be. God reminds us that we are not alone, nor will we ever be. On this frigid Friday in Ontario, Canada, your devotion reminded me how much there is to be grateful for … our old car that is starting and running faithfully, despite the fierce cold; our access to good health care, so reassuring while we fight off viruses and flu bugs; our church family who prays for us and encourages us, and for the family that God has blessed us with, loved ones who are there for us in every way.
    It definitely sounds like you had your hands full, but as you’ve already discovered, so does our God.
    He will never leave us or forsake us. I wish you and your family sincere blessings as you enter a new year.
    (ON)

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