Do you ever feel frustrated by time?
I was at the zoo recently, waiting for the rest of my family outside of an exhibit while the baby slept in the stroller. I took some time to pray there and I came to reflect on time.
Things change over time. The Earth changes. Animals adapt to new environments and specialize in peculiar ways.
This is a biblical concept. In Psalm 102, the writer said that the earth, sky, and outer space will perish, they will all wear out like a garment and God will change them like a robe. (my paraphrase of verse 26)
As humans in a fallen world, our relationship with time is largely uncomfortable.
We never seem to have enough time, except when we don’t want it, then we’re “bored.” Our bodies are subject to aging and they wear out. We wait and wait for good things, and then they’re over as soon as they begin.
David reflected our angst in Psalm 39 when he said, “O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!” (verses 4-5)
Time can feel like such a curse! It’s so fleeting. Our experience of time is completely subjective, yet there’s nothing we can do to change it. We are trapped in time.
But here’s the thing: time is a created construct.
Time didn’t exist before God called it into place. It wasn’t a parameter that He was forced to work within. God created time.
God Himself exists outside of time. God has no beginning and no end. Peter poetically emphasized God’s relationship to time when he said, “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8)
I don’t think we can truly fathom it in our human minds, but God could have created a universe without time.
That means that He made time on purpose.
And God called His creation good.
I don’t have an easy conclusion that I can wrap up with a bow on this one. But I think the Holy Spirit wants us to enter into a different understanding of time, a different way to relate to something good that God made.
If God created time, and He says that His creation is good, then what would a Kingdom-minded relationship to time look like?
What if time wasn’t an enemy, but an ally? What if we stopped looking at it as a curse, and instead embraced time, with all of its peculiarity, as a gift?
How might the way we work, the way we pray, the way we pay attention to people change if our perspective on time itself changed?
I want you to meditate on time as a gift of God this week. Not just “thank you God for the time you give me for this or that” (although that’s good, too), but on the construct of time itself. Its passage, its finite nature, the meaning of change.
As you consider it, look at Ephesians 2:4-6, and consider carefully the verb tenses:
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grave you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us.”
You are already seated in heavenly (eternal) places. What is the meaning of God’s gift of time for you now, in the present age?
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