Thursday, July 21, 2016

Time, time, time, see what’s becoming of me & you

Have you ever thought about what a blessing it is that time exists?

Many don’t view time as a blessing, but rather as a curse. We’re often so busy that we feel pressed by time we don’t have. The hours zip by and still there’s more to do!

Time can also move too slowly when we are eagerly anticipating something good, like the birth of a child or the overdue visit of a special friend.

Alternately, we’re eager to have time move fast when enduring something painful.

Dorothy L. Sayers said, “God is not subject to time.” She’s right. The Bible tells us that “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, ESV).

Some speculate that God perceives all time – past, present, and future – as the same. His gift to us was the passage of time as expressed in the constant of day turning to night turning back to day. This is a good thing for us.

We express the positive aspect of time often by saying how time heals all wounds endured.

While not as often said, it can also heal woundings we inflict. Can you imagine the horror of everything we’ve ever done being constantly present with us?

Being totally honest, we know that if this were the case, all of us would be always sitting in a cesspool of sin, pain, and shame. There would be no getting away from any wrong done.

Toss in every bad thing done by others that has ever knocked the wind out of us and it would be a pretty miserable existence.

Instead, thankfully the reality is that when we screw up and sin, we can run to God’s grace and find forgiveness. Every time.

But not only is there forgiveness, but once the moment of sin is forgiven, it’s gone. He removes it from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). Every day, God’s mercies are fresh and new and waiting to be lavished on us (Lamentations 3:22-23).

We can look back and reflect, but we don’t need to live in the past. Nor should we. We learn from it, confess, repent, and move on.

Paul sums it up best saying, “... one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14, ESV).

Just as we, mercifully, cannot reclaim the past, we cannot extend ourselves into the future. In fact, Jesus cautioned against focusing too far beyond the present moment: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34, ESV).

There’s a popular and horrible lie that is phrased in a variety of ways, but essentially says that past behavior predicts future performance. No!

Paul counters that lie saying, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV).

What matters is where we stand now and who we are becoming over time.

Hebrews 3:13 instructs, “But exhort [encourage] one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (ESV).

German poet and philosopher Johann Friedrich von Schiller declared, “He who neglects the present moment throws away all he has.”

Be encouraged! God’s mercies are new every morning. Every moment is a time for a new start.

George Eliot was right when he said, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” God would agree.

Grace wins.

Do you get stuck sometimes allowing the past to play over and over in your head and sapping your motivation? Do you often point out to others their old mistakes? How do you silence the voices of the past in your life? In the lives of others? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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