Last week, while recovering from one of those winter colds, I felt as if time slowed down – in a good way. I had planned for a busy two weeks, but the unexpected cold changed my plans. Instead of slotting in emails, training modules, phone call reviews and other productive tasks, I just rested. Luckily, my work week happened to have a number of half days which allowed me good recovery time. I read a book, sat in bed, and did moan and groan a bit, but I also rested well. As I did, I felt a sense of depth in time – a greater perspective.
I remember thinking about how all those “deadlines” suddenly seemed less important. I still needed to practice keys, finish preparing for study group, do the laundry, finish a case write-up, email people. Yet, I did all these things and had plenty of time to spare. I’ve always known that God gives me time to do all the things I need to, but now I felt that there was more than enough time for these! God is so generous with time!
The famous poem in Ecclesiastes 3 begins with this statement:
“To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven.”
I became more acutely aware of the “purposes of heaven” as I was forced to lay aside my busyness. Driving to work, snuffling, and with sore eyes, I smiled and praised God who had made the day beautiful, even in my sickness. I felt strengthened in my resolve to pray for the purposes of heaven – to have the kingdom of God here on earth as it is in heaven, to encourage and to raise up others. Strangely, though my body was sick and that made me grumpy, my spirit was still alive and strongly contending for God’s kingdom. Being unwell physically made me more aware of this. Being unable to be busy freed me to pay more attention to the things I was seeing in the spirit. I felt weak, sick and sad physically, yet strangely jubilant at the same time.
There is a time for every purpose under heaven – for reaping of fruits, for trials and testings, for beholding new things, and for letting go of some. There are times to build testimonies, and times to remember them, times to encourage others, and times to be encouraged. One thing was clear – there is always time. There is always time for the kingdom of God, always time to seek it first, always time to give thanks and praise to God, always a time in Him. Time is in God, and it is of Him. He created purpose in it, purposes for it, and purposes for us to find.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” – [Ecclesiastes 3:11]
There is always time, always eternity, always God. I really enjoy the boundless time I spend with God – it is eternity, and it is His kingdom. It may be work, chores, movies, catch-ups, being sick, healing or anything else, but it is life, and it is life in the time given by God. He is the beginning and the end, the one whose throne is established from old, who is from everlasting [Psalm 93:2]. He is God who dwells in eternity, and with those of a humble heart. So let us continuously lay ourselves down so we can have more of Him.
“For thus says the High and Lofty One
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
To revive the spirit of the humble,
And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
– [Isaiah 57:15]