Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Proper Time

Disclaimer: It's going to get real, probably fairly quickly, and it's going to be a bumpy ride.

1 Timothy 2:5-6 NIV

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed at the proper time.

When I read this verse, the first thing that came to my mind was a question: If God is for us, who can stand against us? Because clearly if God sent Jesus, and Jesus willingly came for us, then it is obvious they are for us. So the question that begs to be answered, who can stand against us, must be answered no one.

If, in fact, no one can stand against us, who is included in no one? While it might seem that the obvious and correct answer is no one, the question then becomes why do we allow anyone to stand against us? What you might not suspect is that the biggest opponent we face is most often ourselves. However, even we can not stand in the way of God.

Therefore, why on earth do we look back at any portion of our lives in regret? I do it. I've admitted to it many times on this blog alone. I have repeatedly confessed that I am trying to make up for lost time by the current amount of time and effort I put in to learning God's Word and more about Him. Why? Because I'm behind. At least in my own eyes. 

But perhaps I'm not alone in this. Perhaps, like me, you see this in other areas of your life. I've also admitted that I struggle with the fact that our son was diagnosed at age 5, instead of age 3, with a form of autism. I have lamented publicly, privately, and in my prayers that I wonder how much further he could be if we had started therapy sooner. But why? I know how far he's come and I know he's far from done. 

Why do I doubt and question when I know that God's Word is true? He said that He will work all things together for our good. So if He sees the course of our lives as slow and steady growth, why are we focused on seeing things as loss? Is there even a slight chance that in His great wisdom, which is so much higher than ours, that what we see as failures are the catalyst to capture our hearts at the proper time and propel us into the future He designed before we were born?

My greatest fear is that this dilema we are in goes far beyond a lack of trust in who God says He is and His ability to do what He claims, and has shown, He can do. I believe this goes back to the garden. It's always been about that stupid fruit that we keep attempting to satisfy our hunger with. The fruit that taunts us with more knowledge, more wisdom, more understanding, more comfort, more ease, more ability. Always more. Because in essence, when we say we want more for ourselves or others, aren't we saying that what He's graciously given isn't enough? And doesn't that lead to the distrust that He is working it out for good with the plan He created before we drew breath?

The good news is we are not without hope. While we look back and see what more we could have done, the reality is God does not love us less because we didn't. And though we are constantly tempted to believe that some earthly change we are anticipating will make things better, the truth says He fills us with joy from His presence and the eternal pleasures at His right hand. He's given us blessed opportunities to take what He's already redeemed in our lives to be a comfort and encouragement to others, and He leaves us with no doubt, based on Jesus' victory over death, that He is always working a way in the wilderness of our hearts and streams in the desert of our minds. It's not up to us. He called us. He keeps us. And He reveals Himself to us to grow our faith. We really don't need more, we just need Him.  

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