“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” – Genesis 8:22
The Lord makes this statement in the book of Genesis directly after the flood that destroyed the earth. Although it can be difficult to understand this God in the context of our current understanding and beliefs about God, what this story shows is one response to evil, one in which a redemptive act of violence is used to cleanse the world. However, we read immediately after that, “…never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.”
This is no longer the way of the world, redemptive acts of violence will never be the final solution, in fact, just as the seasons of summer and winter will never cease, nor will the seasons of good and evil. Just as there will always be a time of work, a time to sow, there will always be day and night, good and evil. There will always be a season for both.
Just as God admits in this story, it is not good to destroy all that we have made even when things are not going as planned, even when it seems all these things have turned against us. Redemption though destruction or violence will never be our permanent solution. Instead we are called to hold the good and the bad in tension, to recognize their importance in the seasons of our lives. And we all go though seasons, it seems to be the nature of world we live in. We have seasons of struggle, of financial hardship, depression, bad relationships, singleness, sickness, and pain. But, let is never be your decision to ignore these seasons, to erase them from your memory, or act as if they do not belong. For just as the winter turns to spring and then to summer, the life found during the good times is directly related to the remnants of pain and death found or present in the difficult times.
Therefore, both belong.
And neither is more important than the other, rather each is a season. What is more important night or day? Summer of winter? Cold or heat? The seedtime or the harvest? You can not say. Instead, each is dependent on the other. Just as each season of our lives is dependent on another, this seems to be the nature of all things. Who are we to say, “I do not deserve this?” or, “Why is this happening to me?” or, “This is not fair.” The life and goodness of later seasons is directly related to the death and evil of others, each dependent on the other. That is why in the trials of life we as Christians can rejoice in our sufferings, because at the core of our beliefs is the promise that even through death there is life, that no matter the struggle or the evil we face, we can say with confidence that good can come from even this.