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Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Time isn't everything - timing is
Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God. For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours. (Psalm 90:2,4NLT)
Most of us don't really understand how a thousand years can be like a day to God - as brief as a few night hours. In fact, if you have ever spent a sleepless night, awakened by some noise, then unable to fall back to sleep again, you know how "slowly" those hours pass! The important thing for us to remember is that God's time-continuum is different than ours - his economy of scale is huge compared to ours. This is so very valuable for us to learn, because we tend to think in the here and now, with maybe a little look into the future now and again, but God sees the bigger picture long before it ever happens! The above passage begins with, "Lord, through all the generations you have been our home." This is the pivotal point of all the psalmist is saying - before anything ever was, even after what we know today is gone in some tomorrow, God's presence has been and will forever be our home!
Just a little later in this psalm, the psalmist asks God to "teach us to realize the brevity of life, so we may grow in wisdom." (vs. 12) The "brevity" of life is evident all around us, but are we growing in the midst of the realization of this brevity. As a youngster, I went through growth spurts - shooting up, filling out, needing larger clothes and discarding shoes when they became too tight to any longer squeeze my toes into. In a spiritual sense, we also grow in spurts - shooting up sometimes to new heights, getting a broader perspective on life at other times, and sometimes even having to leave behind stuff we had become quite comfortable with in the process. As a young teenager, I know I saw others "maturing" around me at a much quicker pace than I was - making me envious of their growth and development. It isn't uncommon for us to do exactly the same thing in a spiritual sense - envying others who seem to be growing by leaps and bounds.
God isn't after the "quickness" of our growth, but the lasting integrity of that growth. There are just some lessons easier to learn or "adapt to" than others - especially when it comes to issues of trust in a life where trust may have been violated by others on more than one occasion. It may seem like it is taking "forever" for us to learn to trust, but in reality, that "forever" to us is like a blink of an eye to God. He knows the exact time it will take for us to get to the place of fully trusting in him, trusting him for who he is and then relying less upon our own "fixes" to fix our fixes. God is intent on us learning the "brevity" of our lives (complete with all the messes we get ourselves into) and the "vastness" of his care, love, and grace.
The closing words of the psalm bear reading because they speak of the psalmist's desire to be satisfied with God's love - nothing compares to the love of God and nothing satisfies us quite as effectively as that love. Maybe we could make this our prayer this morning, for nothing would please the Lord more than for us to trust his timing, look to him for our sustenance, and allow him to replace what was once broken and battered with that which is most beautiful and whole!
Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives. Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! Replace the evil years with good. Let us, your servants, see you work again; let our children see your glory. And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!