“There is a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance;”
Once again we see Solomon setting forth parallel ideas for us that mark the passage of time in extreme boundaries. On one hand there is the weeping and mourning that would be attached to the depths of our sorrows in life and then on the other hand, there are times of easy laughter and dancing that speaks of a spirit and a time where everything is good.
We need these balances in our lives. The first is there to remind us that we are not yet in heaven and that we should long for that time; the second is to remind us that we are not in hell and such an existence should be feared. So, to balance out the tragedies and sorrows of deaths, losing jobs, conflicts, and personal struggles with sin there are baptisms and weddings and milestones that are reached. And, in the end, God is to be glorified.
Why we need to hear these words of Solomon is important. When we are going through a time of doubt and trial, sometimes it feels as if the dark valley through which we walk is all that exists in the world around us. In the same way, when we are planning a celebration, we can sometimes fall into the thinking that nothing could go wrong. Further, we can also fall into the trap of thinking that our world is the only one that is in existence or that our world is the only one that matters. Solomon, looking back on the ups and downs of his life, reminds us that there are seasons of sorrow and seasons of joy that we all will walk through…and the recognition of the season helps give us perspective. There is an end to the dark valley of trial and there will also be something that brings us “back to reality” after our times of joy. This is not to take away from the growth and the lessons that take place in each season. Yet, there are seasons and seasons come to a close.