Time; July 26, 2022

2 Chronicles 29:36 Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced at what God had brought about for his people, because it was done so quickly.

One thing that both the Bible and experience teach us is that God’s timing and ours aren’t the same. In spite of that, we are very slow to learn the lesson! Peter famously encapsulated it as, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” (2 Peter 3:8) Here, Hezekiah and the people rejoiced that things went much more quickly than they had expected, but many places in the Bible quote people saying things like, “How long, O Lord?” And to be honest, we’ve all experienced exactly the same thing. Conversely, when it’s an unpleasant thing we are unhappy when it happens quickly, and relieved when it passes quickly. Time itself might be immutable, but our perception of it is entirely subjective. The thing is, time is dependent on matter, and God, being immaterial, is outside of time, so He can treat it however He likes. We really cannot grasp what that is like, because we are material beings, part of the time-space continuum, as it is called. When we are free of our physical bodies we will be freed from such constraints, but we literally can’t imagine what that will be like. The point now, while we are in our physical bodies, is to choose to trust God with everything, timing as well as everything else. Failure to do so only increases our frustration and pain, and brings no blessings.

I have long had something of a time hang up, stressing about “my time” and schedules and the like. Learning the futility of that hasn’t come easily! I still hate to be late for anything, as my students have to learn each time I get a new class. However, ministry in Japan has been a powerful lesson that I can’t hurry God. When God says it’s time, this nation can be won to Christ in an amazingly short period, but I can’t make that time happen on my schedule. My parents before me experienced exactly the same thing, and they never saw that harvest with their physical eyes. However, from their current perspective they can indeed see it, should God allow them to do so, and certainly know that joy. I am not to be impatient with God but rather walk in faithful obedience, trusting that His schedule is far better than mine. As He told me, I am to rest, relax, and rejoice!

Father, thank You for Your schedule. Thank You for all that You have planned for today, and for making it all possible. I pray that as we drive to Fukuoka that I would be anxious for nothing but follow Your directions, in driving and everything else, and that our return and everything to follow would again be on Your schedule, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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