Saturday, January 16, 2016

Timeless

Titus 1:2
2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,

Time is the great oppressor of our lives. Every human on the planet can feel its touch and see its passing. We look at our children when they are little and know one day they will need us no more. We look to our parents when they begin there role as grandparents and know we will also have that role one day. We know that our hair will go gray, our bodies will degrade, and our time at least here on this planet will come to an end.

I say time is an oppressor because, like it or not, we are under its rule. It is marching us forward; our days are ruled by the tick of the clock. Whether we are more obsessive than others and tightly arrange all our minutes and hours or we are of the laid back procrastinating type time is ultimately our dictator. Time invades every aspect of our lives.

This all makes it very hard to imagine a place without time. This is however where God is, he is outside of our time; he has actually created this structure of time. I say he is outside of time because for him to be inside of time would be to say he is just another created thing inside of our universe and to say that would send us searching for what created the universe and in turn also created God. We see in Genesis God creating the universe, specifically he’s seen creating our planet, moon, and sun. We see him also creating time in dividing the day from the night. As we read through the Bible we see him enter our time and become apart of our history, and each time he does he makes it clear that he sees and knows not just what is but all that will be.

Even main stream science admits the universe had a beginning and that something can never come from nothing. This triune God we worship created this incredibly vast universe with galaxies, solar systems, and stars all finely tuned like the inner workings of a clock. He created all this and dialed it all in to enable life here on our tiny little planet then he creates us down to the smallest structure in the human cell. As if all that were not amazing enough he then strikes up a relationship with us and wishes to be apart of our individual personal lives, this timeless, boundless, limitless God wishes to have us as his children.

God’s timeless qualities can be seen in the Bible from the very beginning.
In Genesis we read that before God created the first humans he had already created time, why? He created Adam and Eve to live forever why have this structure called time?

Are we to see the Lord as this author that has begun writing a book with no idea where it might lead, with no real narrative in mind, or no ending decided on? Is he a God that, like us, changes his mind back and forth not really certain which way he might turn? Is he a God that has set creation in motion and then is running back and forth putting out fires and trying to make sure everything goes right?
This is likely what God would look like if he were constrained by our time and just another facet of our universe. I myself had this kind of picture of God when I was an unbeliever and still somewhat as a believer until I began to read and study his word. I was greatly reducing God to fit with my perspective instead of allowing God to stretch my perspective to fit with who he really is. Without the aid of his Word we can find ourselves doing this in many different ways. God has given us the Bible so he might be revealed, so that we can know at least in part the incredible depth of his character and the vastness of his attributes. We cannot, in this life, ever fully know God or his mind but we can study what he has revealed and know what he has made possible for us to know.

Being timeless this triune God knew this human being he was about to create would disobey him; even more he knew all the suffering that would come after the fall of man down to the smallest detail.

So why create a being that can disobey?
If your spouse were really a mindless automaton unable to disobey you would that be a relationship? Or if they were forced against there will to be with you, would that be Love? Would either of these scenarios be something Love would do? No, and God is Love. He has created us out of Love to Love and to Love him. He created each of us believer and atheist alike with the intent and desire that we would choose him, but being Love that he is he has given us, through his grace, the ability to choose.

So why create a being that will suffer?
God, as we professing members of Christianity understand and worship him is not uninterested in our suffering; he is also not a God that intended the suffering. But he is a God that created all we see and know knowing all that would come because of it. He is not a God uninterested or unaffected by our suffering. Our Lord suffers with us in our moments of despair. He walks with us as we grieve for lost friends and family, when we are diagnosed with illness, loose jobs, and loose hope, he is there strengthening us and giving us a peace that transcends all understanding.

Mothers across the planet right now are making the choice to carry a child knowing the suffering and pain that will entail. We who have made the choice to have children knew when we made that choice they would likely disobey us, curse us, and even say they hate us at some point but we do it anyway. Those who have grown children remember the troubles and suffering they themselves have gone through raising those children. They also remember having to watch those children go through suffering of some type. Would they go back in time and choose to not have that child, choose for that child not to have existed at all because of the suffering they the parent and the child had to go through? No!

Our Lord knew the suffering he himself would need to go through with us from the beginning, he also knew the suffering we, his creation, would need to go through but still chose to create us to Love. He, being outside of time, could see that out of all this suffering would be born a people of his own, a people that would freely choose him and that he would choose as his very own children to enjoy fellowship with him for eternity.

Many times we can find ourselves wrapped up in this story the Father has written. We can get frustrated with the details and depressed and angry with what we see on the news, and we should feel for these people we see, but we should not loose sight that the details we are wrapped up in and the situations we see being played out around us are just the tiniest glimpse of this story he has written that will all end in his glorification.
 Trying to make sense of the events of the day or week as they compare to the over arching story and plan God has already ordained is like trying to make sense of a six thousand page book from just two of it’s letters. We can find ourselves rejecting this story and even being critical of the Author.

We need to trust and have faith in the Author of the book. He hasn’t left us in the dark; he has revealed himself and much of his story in the book he has written, and it has a great ending! The Father shows his timeless nature in many places throughout the Bible, using his prophets to predict events well in advance of there happening. He was in control then and he has the same control today.

Much more than any human mother or father, God created us knowing he would need to give a very dear part of himself. He knew at the creation Jesus would be beaten, spit on and nailed to a tree to atone for the sin we humans would choose. It is amazing to think that he knew while creating us that he would also have to save us. When we look at the world around us and see the suffering taking place we can know that the Father not only suffers with us but that he suffered for us more than we humans can ever imagine. We can know that he is sovereign and will make everything work for his glory whether we can see that now or not.

Through the atoning sacrifice that was planned from the beginning of time we can have our sins removed so that we might approach the Father and have fellowship with him here in this life through the Holy Spirit. We can claim Jesus as our brother and be called a child of God, a new creation!

Time is marching on just as the Father has designed it to.
Like all people time will one day march us to deaths door but for us, the children of God, that door will lead to a house of many rooms.

Rooms without clocks!