Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Lord Is Master of All Time

"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is" (Eph. 5:15-17).

If you never have enough time to do all that needs doingwell, consider yourself normal. Oh, we know, intellectually at least, that God never assigns a task without supplying the resourcesincluding the timeto complete it. We nonetheless find it annoying that He rarely includes a To Do list and day-by-day schedule with the assignment. Often we're considerably less than certain even of the assignments themselves: Is God's leading really expressing itself in that emotional tug? In someone else's direct appeal? In the fact that a project matches our talents?  

Much of our uncertainty is due to ignoring Proverbs 3:5-6 and "leaning on our own understanding," which after all seems a lot more accessible than God's leading. Let's face it, praying for guidance can be hard work. God wants us to know Him, not simply obey Him; if He let us report for duty just long enough to pick up the day's assignments, His work in this world might be accomplished faster and more efficiently by human standards, but His work in us—particularly drawing us close to Himwould be stunted.

Often, we complicate things further by drawing up our own To Do lists and asking God what else we should do, rather than coming with a blank slate and a willingness to put aside everything He can't use. A quick morning prayer for sufficient hours to finish all you "have to" do doesn't work. (I've tried it.)

More than one Bible scholar has noted that "God is never in a hurry." We're tempted to grumble, "He can afford not to be; He has all the time in the world." But more particularly, He owns itand He knows just how much of it to let us use.

When we develop ears for His leading, we may find that every hour spent listening for it shaves two hours of rush off our schedules.

The Lord is Master of all time, the Maker of each hour;
He sets our days by His design, and guards them by His power.
God knows each month each person has; none take Him by surprise;
Each year to come, each week now past, lies open to His eyes.

Let those who moan their lack of time take thought to know the truth:
God plans our work by His design, for senior and for youth.
No fault of His that we may pile our lists with extra tasks;
So stop your rush; be still a while; learn what He really asks.

The Lord is Master of all time; on Him all things depend;
And someday soon, in His design, all earthly time shall end.
So do not fear, do not be bored, but work and watch and pray;
He keeps for us a great reward, a never-ending day!