Sunday, October 18, 2015

Creator and Keeper of Time

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                I struggle with time. Because I am a doer, a “Martha” at heart, I like to stay busy. Idleness is not in my DNA. As a kid, I was always into something, looking for something to do and pretty much driving my mother bonkers. She used to send me outside to find my dad who would find something for me to do. I think she secretly hoped that I would grow out of it, but I didn’t. I am still always on the go. Unfortunately, this desire to keep busy can also be a stumbling block for me. Because I like to stay busy I usually have a pretty full schedule, and about three to four minutes after my eyes open my mind begins to race with all the day’s events that are before me. By the time I have made my coffee I have worked out what seems to be a timely schedule in my head and off I go to accomplish it. (I am a morning person too!)
         But lately it seems like instead of having peace in my day I have turmoil. I get behind that person who decides that thirty five in a fifty five is a great idea, and they are enjoying themselves immensely. Or, there just happens to be a fender bender causing a twenty mile backup on 440! As a result, I begin to have turmoil in my heart because my day is not going as planned. Because I am a doer and I like to stay busy, it also means that I do not like to be late. I like to be either early by a few minutes or right on time. On time keeps me on schedule. Late puts my whole day behind. When days like this happen I begin to get frustrated, then I begin to fret, and the next thing you know I am speeding past the slow moving vehicle yelling at them in my mind for their inability to go the speed limit. I become short with people, frustrated at the littlest of things, and I end up taking my frustrations out on those whom God has called me to love. I fall into sin, not only in my thoughts, but in my attitudes and sometimes, even in my words. This then causes me to have no peace whatsoever because I am convicted by my God who lives in me and sees all of me.
                This has been an area of my life that I know He wants me to surrender to Him. Not just the sinfulness that I walk in, but the surrender of my time, and my need to control it. This need to be on time, scheduled and doing a Martha pace through life is not how He wants me living. It is not that being busy is wrong, or that being a doer is wrong, it is the attitude in the midst of all that doing that He is focused on, it is my attitude in the midst of my day that displeases Him and He wants to change me and free me from the troubled heart that steals my joy and robs my peace with Him. He wants me to surrender to Him.
                “For everything there is a season, a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV
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                Time is a simple word but one that impacts us in a very complex way. We know that time is given to us to work and do all that God has prepared for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10) Time reminds us how short our lives really are, and sometimes it reminds us how long it can be too. Time rules our
lives. We live by the clock; we eat, sleep, drink and work by the clock. Time is not always our friend. For me, time is a stumbling block, an obstacle that trips me up, a snare that leads me to sin against my God. It’s not that I am too busy, for there seems to always be time to do what is before me. It is not that I am managing it unwisely or wasting it, (well, sometimes I am wasting it), time troubles me because I am trying to control it. Time, my friends, is not ours. It never was and it never will be. The only One who can control time is the One who created it. I cannot make time. I cannot stop time. I cannot change time. God alone is Creator and Keeper of time, and all our times is in His hands.
                Solomon tells us that for everything there is a season. Everything in heaven and under heaven has a purpose and a time. If you read Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 you will see that everything will happen when it’s supposed to happen. If we believe God is Creator of time, then we must also believe that He is Keeper of time. We are reminded through the scriptures that there is an appointed time for every matter under heaven. Think about the word every. Every means all; not some, not a few, but all- all means all and that’s all all means. Everything that happens to us, every moment of our lives is appointed. God knew of it, He saw it, and He allowed it to come to pass before the foundations of the world. God is sovereign, and if God is sovereign, then He must be sovereign- even over all the matters of our daily lives. Nothing happens to us that has not first passed through the hands of our Father in heaven. That slow moving car in front of me, God allowed it. The two cash registers that
are open at Wal-Mart during the busiest time of day, God allowed it. That meeting that ran late, God not only allowed it; but He knew it was going to run late even before I got there. Time is not ours, it is His.  
                “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
                The bible tells us that there is an appointed time for every matter under heaven, and that our God has made everything beautiful in its time. Just like the seasons of the year have an appointed time, so does every single thing under heaven. We know when winter will come, and when spring and summer will arrive. We know when they should come, but we cannot predict them. They do not come on the same day every single year. Sometimes winter comes early, bringing in the cold winds from the north. Sometimes summer overtakes spring and fall is late. But no matter the timing, the truth that we can depend on is that they do come. Just like events and matters in our lives. They will come, but only God, our Creator and Keeper knows when.
                “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in Me.” John 14:1
                My heart, which is the seat of my thoughts and my will, become troubled because I am trying to control something that is out of my control; I am trying to control time. I am trying to change time, make time, and be on time. Jesus tells us not be troubled. Believe in God. If we believe that God is sovereign, if we believe that He is powerful enough to raise Jesus from the grave, then why do we not believe that He is able to control our time as well? When we become hurried, troubled, distressed about events in our lives we are clearly not walking in faith. If we believe God is sovereign, then we must trust that He is sovereign too.
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                Believe God. Believe that He is sovereign. If we believe that God appoints every matter under heaven, then we have nothing to be troubled about. My mind becomes disturbed, restless and my thoughts begin to cause an inward commotion within me. My mind begins to race and I begin to get worked up about every little thing that comes my way. Believe God. Believe that He has everything under control. Isaiah 43:1-2 tells us that God is with us. That no matter what overtakes us, comes against us, He is there. He formed us, He called us, and He has redeemed us. He is our Creator and Keeper of time.
                Nothing under heaven is an accident or a coincidence. For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven. Don’t panic. Don’t worry, and don’t speed! Trust that God who raised Jesus from the dead, who called light to shine out of the darkness, who created all that we see, smell, taste, feel and hear out of nothing is just as much in control of your time now as He was then. Trust that God, the Creator and Keeper of time, can and will make all things beautiful. We have a whole eternity to live, so why are we in such a hurry in this one? Amen.