Every year, millions of people around our country, and millions around the world, gather together to celebrate the beginning of a new year. It is a reflection of the importance of time to all human beings.
This same interest in time is reflected in our interest in birthdays, and anniversaries. As human beings, we have an instinctive understanding that time is fleeting and our time on earth is finite.
How different this is than the perception of time that God has. God, because His time is infinite, does not have to look at every minute and every hour as being precious. And all of His plans do not have to come to fruition in a lifetime of 60 or 70 years. As Scripture tells us in Psalm 90:4 (NIV), “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.”
This difference in perception is what often makes believers, throughout the ages, ask: Why does God tarry in righting injustice? Why does God not hurry to bring His plans to fruition? Why doesn’t Jesus return in the clouds and bring this age to an end?
The real question should not be why does God not hasten, but rather, why should God be in a hurry? He has patience and knowledge well beyond any human’s patience and knowledge. And we know that, in the end, all things will come together for good through Him.
The things that bother us so much and that we see as being worthy of immediate intevention, are but part of the great unfolding of human history that God has overseen from the beginning.
So, in the coming year, let us practice patience. Let us realize that the things that so concern us today economic problems, social problems, relational problems are such a small part of even our complete lives and of the history of God’s people that they are but a brief wind passing over a meadow.
We do not know how much time we have, and we do not know God’s plans in their completeness. So as we are reminded in Matthew 6:27 (NIV), “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “ The answer then, as now, is no.
So, let us leave things in the hands of Him who is greater than we can imagine and, in so doing, know His peace as we live out our lives as His people.