The Creator, while in timelessness, created time. The Creator created people in time, but He did not create time to heal people. This very God invites us to enjoy Him and each other in eternity.
Why is this “Time-God” distinction so important? Sometimes people will mistake the elapsing of time with emotional healing. Forgetting isn’t forgiving. Forgetting a wrong or distancing oneself from a hurt isn’t the same as being healed. We can become skilled at carrying bitterness and resentment even though a harmful act may have been slightly forgotten or now seems “foggier” than it used to be. If we are not careful, a bunch of time can be used to practice denial or rationalize something away, leading to the proverbial, “I’m good” statement. We lose people close to our hearts and over time we mourn and we welcome the comfort of the Lord (Matthew 5:4).
Sometimes it is said that “time is our best friend.” This cliché sounds good too, but it’s off a bit as well. Time isn’t meant to be our best friend forever; the “BFF” distinction is reserved for Christ. “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).
A friend of mine recently turned 55. When asked how he felt, he replied, “It feels a lot like 54”. Just days ago we entered a new calendar year. Sometimes a new year and a new season or chapter of life seemingly ushers in “new hope.” I look at it that way often.
In reality, December 31st isn’t all that different from January 1st. The same hope was available and accessible in Christ on each day. So, what is the big deal about time and hope? Well, if time doesn’t deliver what we expected it to deliver when we expect it, then we wait for another time for that to happen. Sometimes we wait on seasons and count on seasons when we really should be waiting on the Lord and counting on the Lord regardless of the calendar. I get it; a new year means new hope and new goals and a “clean slate” so to speak. Such a transition in time can be constructive for sure but usually for just a month or so.
Here is something to think about… Time and God can get a little misunderstood sometimes. Just because someone has lived a long time does not make them wise. The fear of the Lord makes us wise (Proverbs 1:7). Just because a substantial amount of time has passed doesn’t mean things are patched up. Just because you don’t have a lot of time to live that doesn’t mean you don’t have a lot to accomplish. Just because you are at the beginning of your life doesn’t mean you can wait until later to build the kingdom. Just because you are a relatively new believer doesn’t mean you have little to contribute. Just because we have tried so many times to start in a new direction and failed doesn’t mean we have to wait upon a new season or holiday to get going again. Apart from seasons, milestones and mile markers in life, the bottom line is we have this moment and maybe the rest of the day. There are literally millions of people around us that are defining themselves and their lives based on the perceived abundance or limitations of time. You and I can spend our time today, or we can invest our time today. Investments yield dividends. You and I get the privilege of investing our time to leading others ever closer to the Creator, to the Healer and to He who calls us all into timelessness. Enjoy!
Dr. Gary Hewins is the President of lifepoints.org, a coaching and consulting ministry to ministry leaders and preachers and the Senior Pastor of Community Bible Church in the picturesque mountains of Highlands, NC.