Do you own a watch? Or use one of your new technological gadgets to keep time? And have you ever wondered why we are so time conscious? In case you didnt know it, everything rises and falls based on timing. However, people and God appropriate time from entirely different perspectives. It is this difference in viewpoints that can shape our vantage points as we live through the day to day issues that make up life.
We’ve all struggled with so called “time management” in our lives. Seems like we don t have enough time in the day to get all the things done we want to do. Seems like time is moves faster and faster with each passing year. What we do know about time is that it waits on no one. Time moves on irrespective of our lives, yet we’re bound by it in a way that’s both frustrating and celebratory. And the truth is that we can’t manage time, we can only manage ourselves in time.
In the 90th Psalm, Moses asserts several points about God in relation to time. One, he says that God doesnt exist in our span of time. He is “from everlasting to everlasting”. (vss 1-2). Two, Moses writes that God can destroy men’s lives, and then a thousand years later, resurrect them to life with a word (vss 3-4)! Now, that’s one to chew on! Thousands of years can pass, and God can still bring people back from the dead! Man has no power over death, but God does, has, and will overcome death by the power of the resurrection. To God, these thousands of years pass swiftly “like yesterday . . . like a watch in the night.”
This is vastly different from our chronological experiences. Psalms 89:47 explains how time severely limits humanity. “The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away”
As with all things if we are to understand and move with God, we must adopt his perspective on time. Without God’s timing perspective your life can be very frustrating and full on unnecessary anxieties. The Apostle Paul writes in Acts 17:28 “in him we live, move and have our being.” Thus, our positional relationship with Christ affords by supernatural extension, access and identification with the Father’s interchronological movement.
Let’s define time. What is it exactly?
- A nonspatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.
- An interval separating two points on this continuum; a duration: i.e. a long time since the last war.
- A number, as of years, days, or minutes, representing such an interval: i.e. ran the race in just under four minutes.
- A similar number representing a specific point on this continuum, measured in hours and minutes: i.e. checked her watch and saw the time was 6:17 am.
- A system by which such intervals are measured or such numbers are reckoned.
- An interval, especially a span of years, marked by similar events, conditions, or phenomena; an era. Often used in the plura as in “hard times” or a “time of troubles”.
When time and circumstances clash, we often panic. This is why, caught in the times of his frustration with what was occuring in his world, the prophet Habakkuk found himself asking God How long? O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!
Struggling with the implications of time
We too have struggled with the implications of time throughout our history with God.
2 Peter 3:8-9 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
When Peter wrote this, there confusion afoot within the church that Christ’s second coming had already occurred.
The apostles sincerely believed the return of Jesus Christ would happen within their lifetimes because they did not fully understand God’s time frame. People were becoming discouraged because they felt matters were out of their control. They were frightened, anxious, in pain and crying out, “How long, O Lord?” They were becoming impatient, and it seemed that everything was continuing as it had, and nothing was changing except for the worse. Some were becoming so discouraged that they were leaving the church.
Thus, Peter’s words were intended to reassure them that the Lord keeps all His promises. God does not lie; He will send His Son to this earth. However, He is being very patient, and this is Peter’s emphasis.
What kind of a plan could God devise that would produce the best in terms of character and the most in terms of the number of children born again into His Family? How could He be merciful and forgiving without stopping the wickedness of the world? What could He use as points of reference that would motivate people to continue to strive toward the consummation of His purpose, once He had mercifully forgiven them?
“That with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” indicates that God does not look at time as we do. Nor is his operational plan limited to it. But because we are limited to it, his plan often occurs within its constraints. To us, time is very pressing because we realize we will live only about seventy years. As we get older, the fact of death becomes an increasingly clearer reality. When we are twenty, we hardly ever think about death unless somebody close dies. But as we age, we think about death more frequently. Our bodies start running down. We do not have the vigor, the energy, the vitality, or the strength we used to have. We are aware of these things because we begin to feel them slip away. It becomes easier for us to become impatient because we have so many things we want to do and accomplish, yet time keeps flying by.
Health and wellness day
With God, though, time is not so critical. If a thousand years with God is as a day, how much is seventy years, the life of a human being? Nothing more than the blink of an eye. How many “blinks of an eye” human lifetimes end every day? Tens of thousands of them! Blink! they are gone, but they experienced every second of their lives. For some, they were born and played through childhood. They went to school. They became adult men or women. They married and raised families. They watched their children grow up. They celebrated births, anniversaries and mourned at loved ones funerals. They fought wars. They endured droughts and famines, diseases, and depressions. They watched death approaching until it called their names. All of this a blink of an eye to God.
We cannot begin to grasp the enormity of what God is doing until we begin to consider the scope of the thousands of years that have already passed and the billions of lives that have been lived. We must begin to look at the big picture and yet retain a human perspective of time and life, understanding that, to God, time means almost nothing because He has power over life and death. You put that in perspective by reminding yourself that To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
Vast and awesome is the scope of what God is working out. He s working it out, no matter no long it may seem!
It took almost 100 years, but he worked it out for Abraham and gave him the son he promised. It was 17 years after David was anointed king, but enduring much affliction, he finally made it to the throne.
Although it took a millenia, the bible declares that in the fullness of time, God brought forth his son Jesus.
A woman had been sick for 12 long years, but in a moment Jesus changed it and brought healing.
Remember when you are boxed in by time and things look bleak that God is in your time zone and working to resolve whatever you’re facing. Be anxious for nothing. Why? Because all things work together for the good of them that love God and are the called according to his purpose.
Now, take some time to praise him.