For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to tear, and a time to sew. Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7a
Billy was an 8th grader when I was in the 5th grade. He was the tallest kid I knew, at the time. All the other kids looked up to Billy, but then again, they had to. He was so tall!
But Billy was also a really nice kid. He would push us little kids around on the “merry-go-round” on the playground. Since he was so big, he could get us going round and round really fast, much to our delight!
One day, as he was doing this, he got us going so fast that he fell down while pushing us.
And for some reason, every time I read the first part of verse 7 of Ecclesiastes 3 I think of Billy and his pants.
Billy handled the whole situation very well. He didn’t cry. He didn’t get embarrassed. He simply tied his jacket around himself to hide the tear and all that it revealed and moved on with his life.
That’s the way I want to be able to handle the tears in my life. Because let’s face it. There will be tears! But they don’t need to lead to tears, you know?
This has been on my mind lately, which led to the devotion of tears (the kind that come out of your eyes, not the kind that happen to pants or other clothes).
Clothes tear. They wear out or they have a “malfunction.” It is a part of this life.
It takes an act of God to not have your clothes wear out. Just ask the Israelites.
I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet. Deuteronomy 29:5
Which tells me that tears were not part of the original plan of God for us. Of course, clothes probably weren’t either!
But tears happen now, because of sin.
Clothes tear. Relationships tear.
We need God to mend all our tears. And he will.
His Word tells us that there is a time to tear and a time to sew. That time to sew ultimately came when Jesus Christ restored our relationship with God through his death and resurrection.
The ultimate tearing is what we do when we sin. We tear apart our relationship with God and each other. We have a harsh word with our spouse. We yell at our kids when they lose something. We walk away from God’s will for our daily life and do what we want to do.
All these are tears in the fabrics of our relationships.
But Jesus came to be the ultimate seamster. He would repair all our tears and restore all our relationships – starting with our relationship with God.
And because Jesus restores our relationship with God, he also restores our relationships with each other. That harsh word with our spouse can be restored with a kind word and apology. Our scolding of our kids can be restored with a hug and an apology. Walking away from God can be restored when we stop and turn – by the power of the Holy Spirit working through Word and Sacrament – back to God.
Thanks, Billy, for reminding me that Jesus restores all the things that tear in my life!
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