Story behind the song – “A time to mourn”

by Mike Burn on August 3, 2005

A time to mourn

A time to mourn and a time to dance
A time to weep and a time to laugh
The Lord makes everything beautiful in its time
A time for silence and a time to speak
A time to fight and a time for peace
The Lord makes everything beautiful in its time
Though the grass will wither and the flower fade
God’s word forever abides
Throughout my days in all I say or do
May the fragrance of Jesus fill my time

A time to love, I will seek your face
A time to trust, I will hold your gaze
Oh Jesus, how you are beautiful to my eyes
A time for passion, pouring out my soul
My heart belongs to you alone
Oh Jesus, how you are beautiful to my eyes
Though the grass will wither and the flower fade
My Lord, I’ll always love you
Your presence here is more than life to me
To be with you is all that I desire

Mike Burn
Copyright 1995 Chasah Music

Story behind the song
This song evolved over a few months during 1994. Initially, I was personally trying to come to terms with the “Toronto blessing” or refreshing, that was starting to have an impact in many UK churches. One of the results of what happened for many people was to express extremes of emotion – weeping or laughing, sometimes uncontrollably. I wasn’t quite sure about the whole thing, and during a personal time of prayer and reflection, I felt that God was speaking to me through Ecclesiastes 3 – the wonderful scriptures that talk about there being a time for everything. The scripture includes the verse: “A time to weep, and a time to laugh”, and it helped me to come to terms with what was going on. (I’m not making any kind of judgement, by the way, on the “validity” of the experiences – we need to test everything, with spiritual discernment, and need to make wise personal and corporate decisions for ourselves and our churches)

In writing the song, I was wanting to express that there is a time for all of life’s experiences, and in the midst of them, we can seek the face of God, who truly can make everything beautiful in its time. I actually wrote the song in lovely surroundings in the South of France, and my prayer was that it would help bring healing for those in the midst of painful life experiences.

Tragically, in the same place in France, friends of ours were taking a family holiday a few months later, and the husband suffered a sudden, and fatal, heart attack, leaving a young wife, with their three lovely children. In dedicating the song to him and to the family at that time, it was, and still is, my prayer that God will bring comfort to those who mourn.

My own brother died as a teenager, when I was 6, and I know that there are no easy answers to the question: “why does God allow such things to happen”, but I do know that God is good, and in heaven he will wipe away every tear.

The second verse of the song is an expression of love and worship – whatever happens in our life, it’s still our obligation, privilege and joy to worship Jesus through the best and worst of times…

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