Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Journey Through Time

"Timing is Everything", "Time flies when you're having fun", "Time is money." What a perplexing thing time is! When we are stuck in traffic or sitting through a boring lecture it crawls, but then, POOF our kids are all grown up and we wonder where all of those years went. We measure our hours and days in increments of time; we mark our achievements in time with trophies and plaques. Just ask Usain Bolt how important time is. The difference between his gold medal 100 meter time and Justin Gatlin's silver medal performance was a mere 0.08 of a second!

What does it all mean? What does the bible say about time?

2 Peter 3:8: "But do not forget dear friends; with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day."

Does that mean what I think it means? Time, as far as God is concerned, doesn't mean squat. He isn't limited by it or defined by it. I need to remember this when time frustrates me.

When I first graduated from college there was a hiring freeze and I was only able to work part time. When I finally did get a full time job it was better than the one I had originally hoped for. 

When my husband and I were younger, and our family was growing we were in the process of selling our house and purchasing a larger one in the same neighborhood. We made it all the way to the closing table and the deal fell through at the last minute. What we didn't know at the time was that we would find a house we liked even better a few months later.

After I wrote my children's book "The Bald-Headed Princess"(Click here) it took 2 years to find the right publisher. I was ready to give up. After praying and surrendering it to the Lord I let it go. Finally, one day one of the publishers that I had queried called me and said that they were interested. The date that they had called was my son, Chris's birthday, the son to whom I had dedicated my book.

What all of those stories have in common is that they did not follow my expected timeline. They followed God's perfect timing. 

As hard as I've tried, I cannot predict God's timing any more than I can predict the future. I do know that time has changed me. It has taught me patience, increased my still imperfect wisdom, and given me humility. It has also gifted me with a few more pounds and gray hairs, but along with them has come the ability to laugh at myself. When I was younger I took myself way too seriously!

Psalm 90:12: "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom."

Even though I can't gauge God's timing, there have been instances when I felt in sync with it. When my son ,Chris, was diagnosed with cancer I knew that my place was by his side. I don't know why he had to get cancer, but I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I, and no one else, was meant to be his mother.  

Me, Chris, and Rob

The year after my book for children with cancer was published I had a little boy in my fourth grade class who was a cancer patient. I knew that I was supposed to read that book to my class. He overcame his shyness about his condition and began to share openly. That year my class became a family. The Lord gave me those students and my book in that exact moment in time.

Have you ever had a moment in time when you knew that you were right where you were supposed to be? Would it have happened if you had dictated the timing?

Esther 4:14: "...And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Usually when I follow God's timing  I feel a sense of peace. If the opportunity to help someone arises, that's another sign that my timing is right. However, sometimes God keeps me waiting. For me this is the most difficult aspect of God's timing. Abraham and Sarah had to wait until Sarah was ninety before Issac was born! I don't want to wait years to see my departed loved ones, but I am slowly learning to trust God's timing.

There is only one person that time does not change. That is Jesus Christ. Since he, along with his father, and the holy spirit invented time, they exist outside of it.

Hebrews 13:8: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

 God, does not promise that time will pass smoothly. He only promises that he will stay with us through it.

Hebrews: 13:5: " I will never leave you nor forsake you."

According to Merriam-Webster 'never' means not ever; not at any time. No matter how slowly or how quickly time seems to pass for us God is still there. He does not leave at any time. The anxious waiting for the better home, the better job, the hugs from our deceased loved onesall of this pales in comparison to eternity. After all, eternity is the opposite of never.