My times are in your hands
One of the things I bring before the Lord quite often, is the aspect of time. Probably my biggest struggle in understanding God is understanding His view of time and the times we live in. I believe that all the promises in God's Word are true and amen in Jesus Christ but I also realize that I will not always see them come true in my time! God answers my prayers for sure, but I simply do not always know when.
As human beings on this earth we are limited by time, we have to live within the rythm of 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week etc. God however is not confined by time, He is eternal, He is the great Now! 2 Peter 3:8 says, With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. God views time totally different than we do. I am currently reading through the book of John and I noticed that Jesus demonstrated this often when He spoke. He asks Philip on one occasion: "Don't you know me, even after I have been among you such a long time?" (John 14:9) Such a long time?? We are speaking two, three years at the most, here! Can you imagine how it would feel if He would say that to us today? 'Hey, how long is it going to take for you to understand Me, you've been a Christian for 3 years now, for crying out loud... ' Three years is nothing on the scale of a lifetime. So, this passage clearly shows that God's idea of time is different than ours. Further on in the book of John the disciples ask among themselves: "What does He mean by a little while?" (John 16:18). They couldn't figure it out, they struggled with it, like we sometimes do when a prayer doesn't get answered or when God is silent.
While reading through the 16th chapter in the book of John I noticed that Jesus talks past, present and future as if everything is now. He tells His diciples "... a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language..." Right after that his disciples proclaim: "Now, you are speaking clearly..." Jesus said the time would come and when He said it it was right there! In verse 32 he does it again, He says: But a time is coming, and has come... The moment He says it it is done, it is there. I find this very fascinating. In the 17th chapter Jesus prays to His Father. He says: I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world... (verse 13).
I don't blame the disciples for not always understanding the time and the times they lived in. In Acts 1:7 Jesus told them: It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority. We can try to grasp His eternal character, His timeless being and His endless love, but I don't think we will be able to fully do so until we leave our earthly time frame behind to be with Him forever! There are, however, a few things the Bible teaches about time. They can offer comfort and hope in our present day troubled times:
- There is time for everything... a time for war and a time for peace (Eccl. 3:8)
- The time is short (1 Cor. 7:29) It doesn't say how short, but please don't wait any longer before surrendering your life to Him if you haven't done so yet!
- Now is the time of God's favor (2 Cor. 6:2) Any moment is a good moment, God is waiting for you!
- My times are in your hands (Psalm 31:15) When you belong to Him, you can feel safe, no matter what the time will bring!
I do not know whether you ever wonder about God's timing, but let me close with another word from the Psalmist, Trust in Him at all times, O people! At all times, good or bad. At all times, whether we deal with past, present or future situations.