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  • Writer's pictureRichard Parrish

How Long?

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” “…A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”
- Ecclesiastes 3:1, 8 (ESV).

“This too will pass!”

The expression commonly follows a heavy sigh prompted by weariness. The utterance reveals an emotion of frustration and exhaustion. You’ve faced a situation where you’ve longed for a brighter outcome, but there’s no noticeable change.

You want to cling to hope and not give way to despair. But how long can you endure?

Life isn’t easy.

Despite the bravado we try to show or the impressive images we have of others, we know that not every impression is accurate. Even the “great ones” experience seasons of joy and sadness, gain and loss, love and hate, war and peace.

Solomon reminds us that there’s a “season” for everything, and that life is a mixture of highs and lows, laughter and tears, abundance and poverty. He views life as ups and downs rather than an upward trajectory.

Regardless of the “season” you’re in, it’s momentary.

Although it’s easier to navigate times of celebration, life, according to Solomon, is not an ongoing party. There will be “seasons” when we experience difficulty, loneliness, desperation, and (what feels like) hopelessness.

So did the Psalmist. On more than one occasion, we hear his heartfelt cry to God:

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?”- Ps. 13:1

“O Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked exult?” - Ps. 94:3

The Psalmist understands that no matter what season we find ourselves in,: God is our strength and source who turns sadness into joy, loss into gain, hate into love, and war into peace:

“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because he has dealt bountifully with me.” - Ps. 13:5-6.

“When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations [Lord] cheer my soul.”

- Ps. 94:19.

What “season” are you in? You may be in a time of joy and celebration! Or you may find yourself in a moment of despair. Whatever your “season” is, remember:

“The Lord is [your] stronghold, and God is [your] rock and refuge.” - Psalm 94:19 (Emphasis mine).


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