“They cried out with a loud voice, ‘O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” – Revelation 6:10
How often have we said, “Where did all the time go?” Yet at the beginning of a new year just consider the many days, weeks, months which must pass until another rolls around? The perspective of time is quite variable in determining your patience with it, given the circumstances and thoughts of your life.
For example, your life is adversely impacted when you lament waiting for justice. Justice is too seldom not timely. Do you wait patiently with long-suffering for God’s final judgment to eventually rectify the injustices of yours and others lives? Such is extremely difficult! You want justice quickly. You wish the guilty are found. You desire retribution sooner than later. But it still hasn’t come.
Many injustices continue without penalty under the weight of lies, the deceit of corrupt systems, the virtual hiding of the guilty. There is a painful burden, when seeing truth, while not being able to bring it to bear upon sinners who perpetrate evil. This is a fact of life in a fallen world.
Do you have the perseverance and humility to wait? Or does rampant injustice drive you to distraction and distrust of the God of glory? The saints and the martyrs in heaven according to John’s vision painfully cry out “How long, O Lord, how long before you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Even with knowing that day is coming for sure, the cry is still a real cry, “How long?” It is a weight to be borne while waiting for the Lord’s justice to triumph.
But is this also a weight the Lord helps you carry? Can you bear this with patience under the promise, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” You can because He did. Just consider the injustices Jesus experienced. He was able to persevere patiently because He knew there was a coming future and sure judgment.
Time flies. So it must be taken captive and utilized or it simply slips away. That is, you are to “Redeem the time because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16)
Time also drags. Is it, “How long, O Lord, how long?” or is it, “How will I ever get through these tedious, boring days?” Your perspective of time will vary based on your seeing time as a gift of God to use wisely or by taking it for granted to use or not use only as you see fit.
In any case, time is, as the hymn says, “an ever rolling stream bearing all its sons away.” For time moves inexorably second after second, month after month, year after year and we cannot hinder, slow, or speed its passing.
But, you will experience time evaporating too fast as you use it well to please the Lord. But it can also drag wearyingly when you use it only to suit yourself.
Time flies or drags with the perspective with which you treasure it for righteous purposes. Your view of time begins with your heart and the matters which flow from it. “Wait patiently for the Lord,” the Psalmist rightly says; redeem the time you are gifted; treasure what God determines is sufficient for you; and thank him for every precious second.
“A thousand ages in thy sight are like an evening gone; short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun.”
(5th verse of Isaac Watts’ hymn, “Our God, Our Help in Ages Past,” 1708)
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