Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (KJV) - "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."
Of everything God has taught me through this life, one of those is that not only does everything have a season or a span of time to it, but so do people in your lives. We just don't always see it that way. We sometimes focus on the person and what they've done and what we miss, or in some cases don't miss about them. Some people are sent into our lives for a time to test us, to train us, to direct us and many other things. For example, in my own life I can think of many people who have been just that to me; guiding lights to push me in the direction I needed to go.
For example, when I was a kid and without God, needing salvation and a good dose of maturing, God took an element in my life at that time, namely greed, and used it to draw me into serving in the Army. If that college money hadn't been waved in my face I never would've gone. Though that experience though I grew and matured and became a man. In turn this put me in the right place and time in front of the right man and the right congregation that setup the final circumstances needed to bring me to the Lord. Without those people in my life, despite their time of interaction with me being only temporary, I probably wouldn't know the Lord today.
Then fast forward to college. Even though I was denied the college money I'd been promised by the Army due to a "technicality", I was still able to go to school by God's blessing. However, I took the easy way out instead of God's way, going into culinary where He really DIDN'T want me instead of computers where He did. Along the way I came across a student advisor, a very Godly man, who advised me to forget culinary and go for computers. Yep, stubborn old me wouldn't listen and because of that the next seven years of my life were miserable. Only when I finally listened did life get better.
Even so I remember that time very fondly. Had I listened to God as He'd wanted, how much better would my life have become? It eventually got better, but how much sooner would that have happened had I listened? Even so I remember that warning and admonition and it's made me more willing to listen to God's leading since then. I've had many other people like that in my life, some good, some bad, some in between, who have all come into my life for a brief time, made an impact on my life, and then moved on. There are even some others in my life, some just entering in, others in the middle of our relationship, and some on the way out, who are, have, or soon will have an impact on me and my life.
So remember those brief friendships and relationships. Each is there for a purpose. Some to test you, and some for you to be the test. Some to train you and others to be trained by you. Some to bless you and some for you to bless. Some to raise you up, and some whom you are to raise up. Some to help change, guide or direct your steps, and some to whom you are to do the same. Some help you hold steady in the storm, and some to whom you are to help be strong. Some to minister to you, and some to be ministered to.
To each person in your life there is a season. For some you are there to give to them, and others are there to give to you. Whatever it is, whoever it is, no matter if your time with them ends in tears or anger, a parting or a separation, be it hours or years, each one has their purpose to you, and you your purpose to them. Remember, listen, observe, minister, bless, learn, and most of all love, even if they're a stranger. For each person is there for a season and a time to do the will of God in your life, whatever that may be. And thus we should be grateful for all who pass through our life, no matter who they are.