For everything there is a season ...
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. -Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT
I suspect that, if you are my age, your first exposure to this verse and the ones that follow it were first heard in a song made popular by "The Birds". The verses that come after this one contrasts birth and death, sorrow and laughter, sickness and healing, war and peace. This passage is a delineation of the seasons of our lives and the events that hit all of us. In these Solomon does not say that bad things like war have to happen but simply that they do.
When I look back on my life I can certainly see distinct seasons - each decade seemed to come with different joys and challenges - each seem to come with its own share of births and deaths, war and peace. Rick Warren once said that life is not so much a journey of mountains and valleys but one that looked more like a railroad track - you always have things to be thankful for and things that cause you to struggle. I think that is a good perspective.
Thank you for this season of my life Lord - without the challenge I might forget how much I need you.