When It Feels Like Time Is Passing You By
Enjoy this stage.
Will it ever end?
Time is a thief.
This is taking forever!
We are waiting to hear.
These phrases are just a few heard over dinner at the family Christmas party last month. There were over 25 people there at all different stages of life. Some had small children, some have been battling cancer. One is newly retired, and one is waiting for her husband to start a military deployment overseas.
Interestingly enough, as I was listening to the sweet conversations around me, it sounded vaguely familiar to what we were probably saying last year and, Lord willing, what we probably will be discussing next year over our turkey and dressing and sweet potato casserole.
Life has a way of making all us experience time in interesting ways.
Have you ever noticed how many times the phrase “and it came to pass” is used in Scripture? Approximately 175 times God uses these words to explain the passing of time. Honestly, sometimes when I am reading through a passage and I come to that phrase, I want to ask God, “What exactly happened in that passing of time? Give me the details.”
For example, the book of Ruth begins with “Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.” This verse is introducing Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, and his decision to move his family down to Moab to cope with the looming famine.
Immediately, questions arise in my head like why he chose Moab. How long did they try to ride out the famine until enough was enough and they were desperate enough to move to a pagan land? Were Naomi and her sons willing or did they initially fight against Elimelech’s decision? Because the Bible is about real people with real emotions and joys and struggles like we experience, I have to believe there was much more to the story than “time passed”. However, the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, chooses to highlight only certain moments in a person’s life for us and figuratively push the fast forward button through others.
Even though every moment of everyone’s life in Scripture is not explained, there are three truths we need to remember – and they will help us when it feels like time is just passing us by!
- Throughout Scripture, God is about long-term relationships. Even the parts that are not recorded make up the relationships. The heroes of our faith could not have arrived at their monumental moments without hundreds of days of walking closely with the Lord in relationship. We might feel like nothing amazing or noteworthy is really happening in our spiritual lives, but it is in the day-by-day walk with God that the supernatural takes place!
- Time passes under the providence of our sovereign God. Time is something God actually created for His purpose and for His glory. We are not to dread the passing of time, but as the woman in Proverbs 31:25 is described, we should “rejoice in the time to come”. It is right to honor God for his past blessings and to look forward to more opportunities to serve and praise Him.
- The Lord has a purpose and plan for every day of our lives. Even though I don’t know what happened in the lives of people like Naomi and Elimelech, the Lord did. He saw them move to the pagan land of Moab and even worked a greater purpose through it. God sees us today. In fact, one of His names mentioned in Genesis 16:13 is Beer Lahai Roi, the God who lives and sees me.
Do you feel like you are floundering sometimes in your own version of “it came to pass”? Or do you struggle to look joyfully towards the future because that would require you to let go of the past? Remember that the Lord who created the world intricately and purposefully, also created each of your days and weeks, months, and years.
Whether you are in the process of waiting or maybe you feel like time is slipping through your fingers too quickly, take heart that God sees you and has a purpose for every moment.
One day, you will see how it all “came to pass” in your life!