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!


Christine Lindsay said...

You are so right, God cannot be rushed. If it's His will that something happen, then it will in His timing. And sometimes He wants us to set aside the projects that are screaming for our attention, and sit in His presence.

carol said...

This is a beautifully, anointed word Katherine!

Marcy Weydemuller said...

So very true

Katherine Swarts said...

Very insightful, Christine. Type A perfectionist that I am, I always have a hard fight to accept this!

Janet Ann Collins said...

I love your poem!

Linda said...

Unfortunately we do sometimes sinfully have kinda a "small God" problem - I (and my standards) am big and God is small - too small to fulfill His promises. When we read in Ps 139 that before I was even born all my days were ALREADY written in the book of life, it points to how futile our frustration and impatience are. So! When we read Is 46:9-10, we can either choose to believe God or not, then we choose to take our thoughts captive to make them obedient to Christ. A life long endeavor for sure, one that requires almost moment by moment training. I'm thankful that while God does not expect us to be perfect, He does expect us to be growing and changing. What a God!

Katherine Swarts said...

And we're always trying to "write our own days," aren't we--as if God had appointed us His editors? It SHOULD be a relief that we DON'T have to accept responsibility for controlling the world--even just our small corner of it.

Time management is an interesting balancing act for a Christian, and I've lost count of the number of TM articles written by Christians that forget to mention "if the Lord wills." It may go without saying to many, but those of us who tend to let our schedules control us need the reminder!

Katherine Swarts said...

Someone just commented off-blog that the poem has a "seven-beat line-an iamb for each day of the week that God has created." I hadn't even realized. (Believe it or not, I have absolutely no talent for the mechanical and vocal aspects of songwriting; when it comes to poetry, I take a topic and run with it, and the basic rhyme and meter quickly fall into place. Must be a true spiritual gift!)

Katherine Swarts said...

Speaking of poetry beats, check out "The Human Mind Is a Battleground" (archives, 3/5/08) and see how evocative the beat is of soldiers marching to battle.