One of the challenges we often face in our relationship with God centers on our lack of understanding of God’s use of time. For us, time is relative, finite and unknown–when we are young, a year is forever and as we get older, it’s a blink of an eye. When we are having fun, it flies by and when we are anxious or hurting, time is a sloth.
Because of our earthly conception of time, we can grow impatient in our relationship with God because the unfolding of God’s will does not occur on our timetable. Ever prayed for a job or for a relationship to work out and feel as if your prayers fell on deaf ears? Ever waited on a major decision or direction for your life and nothing happened?
In these times we are so sure that God has missed our prayer or isn’t listening because there is no action or clear resolution. However, we feel this way because we are seeing God’s response through our human lens of time. Recall Abraham and Sarah’s difficulty conceiving a child and how they thought they were too old for God’s promise to be fulfilled. Yet, in proper time the promise was fulfilled and it was done outside what they thought was the normal bounds of time for bearing a child!
This classic biblical story illustrates perfectly how time works in God’s realm. For God, time is eternal. It is both infinite and fully known. God made a promise and fulfilled it, not according to Sarah’s biological clock, but rather according to God’s plan. The Scriptures tell us what God has promised will be fulfilled, that in all things God has a purpose and we are to trust in the Lord at all times.
(Importantly, the Scriptures also remind us that the time for salvation is now. Here God is emphatic that we are to hurry, whereas in other areas we are to be patient. Why? Because without salvation all else is lost, but that is a topic for another time.)
While we continue to measure time by the unforgiving and expendable second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year, decade and lifetime, God’s measures our time according to the fulfillment of our eternal purpose. Our clock has a second hand and God’s clock has a preparation hand. That is to say that the will of God unfolds through our relationship with God. Want God to work faster, build your relationship. Want prayer to be more effective, strengthen the faith that binds you to God. Revelation follows preparation! Through God all is revealed in prepared time!