A Protective Hand

     It was my intention to write about something totally different today but sometimes life experiences change not only the immediate but that they also cause the consideration of what might be going on in the plan and will of God. With that I can say that I was a bit irritated a little more than an hour ago. I was on a bus stop waiting for the bus to take me to one of my spots in the city of Baltimore. It would be that the bus would be extremely late when I have a day planned for activities (more to come on that). The fact is one of my weaknesses is the lack of patience in waiting for things that are late. I am very time conscious and lateness and I simply are not good friends.   

     When the bus finally arrived one of the nastiest drivers was operating the vehicle causing my irritation to rise just a bit more. The crowded bus was somewhat unsettling but tolerable. As the bus eased toward its destination the move became more of a crawl. Now, I admit that I am no longer the hare I was some thirty years ago but then nor am I the turtle I might be fifty years from now. Evidently there was a problem with the traffic so when the opportunity arose I disembarked short of my transfer point to find emergency equipment in the area where I would have been had the bus been on time.

      Sometimes God allows delays in our lives not to try us but rather to protect us. All too often we (me definitely included) allow life circumstances to irritate and sometimes anger us. However if we sit back and look often speed bumps and road blocks serve to protect not just us but also those around us. Such was the case today as I was becoming irritated because of a bus that was around half an hour late. I considered changing my plans because of the delay and almost thought not to write because my mood to write was altered because of incidents beyond my control yet affecting me directly.

      Now, as I was approaching the transfer point I noticed not just the multiple pieces of emergency equipment but also a large crowd of people spilling off the sidewalks. This crowd was behind yellow crime scene tape that marked an area of concern in front of the CVS store on the corner of Light and Lombard Streets in downtown Baltimore. As I was approaching I observed medics tending to an individual whom I first thought to be deceased because all I saw was the medics covering the individual with a sheet. Thank God he remains alive. As it turns out a vehicle ran into the store.

      With that I have to wonder if I would have been involved in that accident had the bus been on time? Would I have been injured or killed? I really don’t know yet I can say with absolute certainty that God has once again protected me. He protected me even when I did not know that I needed protection. My suspicion is that I am not the only one God protects. Many have stories about occurrences in their lives but that for the grace of God there could have been deleterious impacts on them. So, when things don’t go as planned try not to get irritated just consider the fact that God is busy protecting His own. I am now thankful that that bus was not on time as I rejoice in the protective hand of God!

   

No Time for God

     Considering the fact that Genesis 1:1 begins the creation narrative all too often the fact of the term “beginning” is elusive to many. It should be noted that this term is not indicative of the start of time at large rather it is noting the beginning of recorded time. Said a bit differently time did not begin with Genesis 1:1 but that time, like God, is eternal. Moreover God does not operate within the confines of time simply because time is His idea. Now, this may sound like a bunch of senseless rhetoric but it is significant that God, the One not influenced by time stepped inside of time in order to redeem mankind.

     Fast forwarding to John 1:1 the same term “beginning” is found and its implications are the same as those found in Genesis. This time two members of the Godhead are specifically identified as “Word” and “God.” Creationism is addressed in little further in the Johannine text but then John moves on to discuss the reason Christ, the Word, came. John 3:16 clearly shows that the incarnate Christ came that eternal life would be made available to mankind. That is the Second Person of the Godhead laid down some of His attributes, stepped outside of eternity in order to bring sinful man back in right relationship with the Godhead.

     But His work went way further than simply becoming incarnate. He took time to mature as a human inside the womb of a woman and humbled Himself to the extent that He obeyed His earthly parents. He took time to grow in His earthly body and took time to learn how to live as a mere man. The God of time took the time to walk with man as man walked with Him. In this walking Immanuel took time to learn how to use His hands as a carpenter among other things that men do. Even more this Christ took time to minister to all that had need of healing whether it was physical, emotional or spiritual. Even at this Christ was not done.

     After His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane Christ stood in time to be falsely accused of crimes He could not have committed.  After conviction the innocent Christ remained in time to be beaten, mocked, whipped, have his beard pulled out and so much more. Yet this Christ, this Immanuel, refused to pull from the limits of man as He was paraded down the Via Dolorosa en route to Golgotha. He took time to hang on that old tree with hands and feet nailed firmly in place. At the right time the crucified Saviour took time to give up the ghost and found himself confronting our enemy. He left the confrontation victorious in that Christ took from Satan the keys, or the authority, of death, hell and the grave. Even after this Immanuel took time to rise from the dead and walk on earth for forty days and minister to others.

     And He is still not done. Christ now sits on the right hand of the Father making intercession for us all. He is taking time to present us spotless to the father countering the accusations of the enemy. Yet many have no time for God. There are things far too important than to take time out for the Saviour of mankind. You see there is no way some will go to church on Sunday and the car is dirty. It will take at least three hours to properly clean the car so there is really no time for God. But after the cleaning of the car the all important ballgame will be on. This game must be watched so God will just have to wait. The game is far too important and so God will simply have to understand.

     Wait a minute! Perhaps the issue could be resolved by reading just a few versus of Scripture before getting started with the day. No, no, there is no time for that. Breakfast has to be made and eaten, the kids have to get off to school, the job is waiting and to others those talk shows and soap operas have to be taken in. No, there is truly time for God in this busy world. Besides dinner has to be cooked and that party has to be prepared for. Who has time for God with all this going on? Besides those college studies are extremely important so God will just have to wait. There is simply no time for God.

     What if God had no time for us? What if He stopped taking time to love man even in his sinful state? What would happen of God stopped time and allowed man to be swallowed in the abyss of his sin? What if God did not take time to care? Undoubtedly those who have no time for God now would suddenly find time for Him. Unfortunately that may well be too late because time is winding up and Christ will take time to step off His throne to receive the Church unto Himself. At this point time will not matter to those who chose not to take time for Him.

     If there is anyone who has no time for God you might be well advised to take time to consider your ways before time runs out. Yes, there is a reason to make time for God.