Haiti: Seasons of Change
SEASONS CHANGE. GOD DOES NOT.
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
The book of Ecclesiastes lays out the seasons of life here on earth, outside the Garden of Eden, after the fall of man. Seasons of change, periods in time, life’s milestones, significant memory markers, appointed moments, days, years, etc. Each time a “season” changes, we are required to eventually adjust. For instance, living in Ohio, if one continues to wear shorts and a short sleeve shirt after summer turns to fall and fall into winter, there is a requirement to adjust your attire or the consequences can be dire.
But what about those “seasons of change” in life that we don’t see coming and cannot adjust? Or what about when a season remains longer than what we feel we are capable of withstanding? When our seasons of weeping never seem to turn to a season of laughter. When the time of breaking down happens over and over again, so quickly that the season of building up is pushed to the side, only to be forgotten. When the season of war has lasted so long that it is all an entire generation knows. How do we endure or respond to these seasons?
The prophet, Habakkuk, in the midst of a dark season, complains to and confronts the Lord. The Lord causes Habakkuk to look at and to see the injustice, the destruction, strife, conflict, and violence before him. He cries out to God, violence! Injustice! Wrong doing! He asks, “How long, Lord, must I call for help, but You do not listen (Habakkuk 1:2)?” He laments, cries out, and demands an explanation from God by asking, why do You tolerate this and when will this season end?
The response from God is one that reminds me that God has woven His divine thread into every moment of every season in time. The Lord says to Habakkuk, “Look at the nations and watch – and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told (Habakkuk 1:5).” God goes on to inform Habakkuk and describe how that the season he is in will only grow darker and get worse before it gets better. It is here that God specifically instructs Habakkuk to pay close attention, as a matter of fact, He commands Habakkuk to write it down so that it can easily be shared with others! God is raising up the Babylonians, “…a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honor (Habakkuk 1:7 paraphrased).” A people more merciless than the Assyrians, those involved in widespread violence and corruption in Judah during Habakkuk’s time.
In disbelief, Habakkuk listens as God lays out this new season, even questioning God’s goodness when he hears there is not instant relief of suffering in this plan. Ultimately, though at the continued cost of those who have already lost so much, God is showing Habakkuk how He will crumble the most oppressive nation of the time in this next season while also providing his merciful judgment for the wrongdoings of the nation of Judah.
Just as Habakkuk watches and listens in disbelief and without understanding, we have done the same as we watch the events and happenings in Haiti. Also, just as Habakkuk, we have been told over and over, this season will only lead to a darker season, it will get worse before it gets better. And just as Habakkuk, despite our lack of understanding God’s ways, we cling tight to the promises He has fulfilled and the strength of His faithful character.
Our God is sovereign. Our God is omnipotent. Our God’s power is unlimited. Our God has ultimate authority over all creation. Though the seasons may change and we may not understand or even know what is coming with that change, we do know God remains the same. Because of this, as Habakkuk did, we will continue to sing of God’s goodness and praise Him each morning! We will continue to fight for faith and again and again put our trust in the Lord!
Habakkuk 2:3, is the message of hope, the telling of the season of change, the good news. God says, “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and not delay.”
During this season of change, you can be a light to those on the ground in Haiti. By choosing to partner with Haitian Christian Outreach during Giving Tuesday on November 28th, 2023, you are giving hope to those in need.