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Eternal Perspectives: Time Has a Way of Marching On

Sometimes time seems to speed by, other times to lag. Yet we have no control over it. How blessed we are that the Lord uses His gift of time to bestow His love and mercy on us, not according to our perceived timeline, but according to His perfect timing.


Time's Marching Feet

At age 14 my mother moved with her family from the North Dakota prairie to northern Wisconsin. One of the first things she did after their move was walk to their neighbors, friends who also had recently moved from the same prairie town. To get there, Mom had to walk through a pasture and then a mile along a narrow, dirt road flanked by thick woods.

After a long visit, the neighbor said, "Don't you think you should be getting home, Ruthie? It'll be dark soon." But Mom lingered, counting on the same kind of lingering sunset she had experienced on the wide-open prairie. Later, at the neighbor's insistence, Mom looked out the window at total darkness! With surprise and fear, Mom ran home as fast as her bare feet allowed.

Time is an interesting concept. It can drag on slowly or fly on wings. A mother-to-be seems to wait forever for her babe to be born. And when the baby wakes her up every three hours, the nights never seem to end. Some parents can hardly wait for the time their last child will be gone from home. Other parents don't want that day to ever come.

Time affects our lives in endless ways, depending on our perspective. We can waste time, spend it, bless it or curse it. We consider its past, its present, and its future. We revel in it or agonize over it.

Jesus spoke often about time. He said that it is not for us to know the time—the hour or the day—when He will return. Paul the Apostle quoted the prophet Isaiah: "As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For He says, 'In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.' I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2)

A new year has come. We can choose to wait too long to do the things we should, like my mom waited too long to run home safely. Will time overtake us as the darkness overtook her? The new year offers us time to take stock of our lifestyle. Will we take time to help a neighbor in need? To answer a child's question? To forgive a family member who hurt us? To daily vow to read and meditate on God’s Word?

Lord, thank You for the gift of time. Guide us as we choose how we spend each day in Your honor. Help us to commit body, soul, and spirit into Your trustworthy hands. May we never forget that “Now is the day of salvation.” In Jesus’ name, amen.

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