SUCH A TIME AS THIS
(Mark 13:33 – “Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.)
Our day-to-day lives revolve around time. It seems we are either complaining about having too little of it, or we are complaining about having too much of it. Before the Coronavirus came along, most of us complained about not having enough time in the day to get things done. Now that we are being forced to sit home all day, we complain about having too much time on our hands. Either way, the general belief is that time exists to serve us. But the truth is time doesn’t exist to serve us; it exists to serve God. Every minute of every day exists to serve his will and to fulfill his ultimate purpose for man. In the busyness of our day-to-day lives, I think we tend to forget that. I get the feeling right now that maybe God wants us to remember it.
God’s word has a lot to say about time. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” In the book of Esther, Mordecai poses the question, “Who knows whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” In Ephesians 5:15, we are warned, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” And Daniel 8:19 prophetically warns, “I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time, the end shall come.” The word of God makes it clear that time is God’s servant, not ours. He created time to serve his purpose and there will come a time when he has no more need of time. We are all living on borrowed time, running out of time – it’s just a matter of time.
I can’t get over how suddenly this virus happened. One day everything is life as usual and the next we’re all quarantined in our homes hoarding food, toilet paper and hand sanitizer. The word “suddenly” is another word we need to pay attention to in God’s word. Ecclesiastes 9:12 warns, “For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.” That certainly seems to hit home right now! The most important use of the word “suddenly” in scripture is used by Jesus in Mark 13:35-36. In speaking of his eminent return Jesus warns, “Watch ye therefore; for ye know not when the master of the house cometh – lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.” In Proverbs 13:3, David prays to the Lord, “Consider and hear me, O Lord my God; lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death.” David was asking God to open his eyes and give him a spiritual awakening so that he would not die spiritualIy. In light of Jesus’s warning, that might be a prayer we all need to be praying right now. I find it interesting how unprepared we were for this virus. We weren’t taking the possibility of its’ coming seriously so we weren’t prepared for it when it came, even though we had been warned for years of its inevitable coming. I can’t help but see the correlation here. I seem to remember Jesus saying people wouldn’t be taking his return seriously, and that in spite of being warned of it, they wouldn’t be prepared for it either. (Matthew 24:37-38). Not only can I not help but see the correlation, I can’t help but see God in the correlation.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting that God sent this virus, but given that he is the God that takes what the enemy means for harm and uses it for good, he can certainly use it to his and our advantage. In his infinite love he can use this virus meant for harm, to wake us from our slumber and remind us of how suddenly our belief that we have all the time in the world, can change. He can use it to remind us that our times are in his keeping and not our own. He can use it to wake us from our slumber “lest we sleep the sleep of death.” To be sure, we are in perilous times right now, so like Esther, I want to obey what the Holy Spirit has prompted me to do in “such a time as this.” I want to remind everyone that virus or no virus, time is short and death can come suddenly. I want to remind everyone that we don’t have the time not to acknowledge God in our busy lives. I want to suggest that maybe, just maybe, God is using this virus to wake us from our slumber and give us that extra time we need right now. Time has an appointment made by God and we can be sure it won’t be late. Even though we don’t know when that appointment is, we have been warned that it will come “suddenly.” As horrendous as this virus is, I pray that it might serve as a wake-up call “for such a time as this” lest coming suddenly, he find us sleeping.
Time has an appointment which it is sure to keep
Suddenly it will arrive as steadily it creeps
We live our lives within the approaching of its’ day
We laugh, we cry, we live, we die, as time comes without delay
God holds within his sovereign hand, it is not yours nor mine
A time for every purpose, a purpose for every time
It is not a matter of if, but when it will arrive
From its’ appointed destination, there is no place to hide
As a time for every purpose heeds the voice of God’s command
Suddenly time will arrive to serve its’ Master’s hand
The wisdom of God’s prophets though spoken long ago
Suddenly will come to pass just as was foretold
Time pregnant with the word of God’s omnipotent command
Will in its’ time give birth to the eternal life of man
And suddenly time and no time will embrace as one
As the fulfillment of all time finally has come
Then at last we will know what we could not comprehend
The Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End
The Bridegroom will appear to claim His long-awaited bride
O’er the threshold of heaven’s door He will carry her inside
And time will then relinquish all that it has stored
Unto the omnipotent hand of its’ sovereign Lord
And like a faithful servant submit on bended knee
The purpose of its’ existence to all eternity
(Ephesians 1:10 – That in the dispensation of the fullness of the times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ – )