Life is fleeting. Time flies. Moments pass in the blink of an eye. That’s what they say… and to a degree, it is true. We do not get to pause our lives, relive our pasts or guarantee our futures. We only hold each moment we are presented with.
That is the beauty. The mystery. As creatures of time we have been designed to hold this moment, right now, while we also hold our memories of the past & our hopes for the future in the very same hands. Somehow, through this mystery of trifold time, we can grasp eternity.
Does this call to something deep within you? A longing? A hope?
I believe this mystery is the grand story God has written in the stars, whispers in the wind, echoes through the mountains & calls to us in the face of a newborn babe. A longing for wholeness. A desire for our past, present & future to find a home. He created us with eternity in our hearts.
This Christmas season I have been struck with this concept anew. Meditating on John 1 I have been in awe of the God of eternity who has woven his love throughout history to invade time in a specific moment, place, person & point towards the hope of the future all at once. In a dynamic convergence, one moment radically transforms all three strands of time at once. The God of Eternity, who created time itself, has become one with His creation.
This is John’s statement about the birth of Jesus.
“In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God and He was God. He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn’t make. Life itself was in Him and this life gives light to everyone. The light shines through the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was going to come into the world. So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us.” John 1:1-5, 9, 14 (NLT)
Can you see the mystery that has struck me so deeply? Through the stretch of eternity we can hear God’s words from Genesis 1 “Let there be light” echo from the beginning of time itsel through John’s account of Jesus coming & into the unknown of the future where the light can not ever be extinguished. What power, what mystery, what hope.
It is easy to feel like our past is a mess. We often look ahead with fear or uncertainty towards our future. Today can feel insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Yet, when I consider my life & journey in light of John’s view of eternity I am convinced that each moment matters. That each moment is held together with the strands of eternity I can not always see.
Years ago, I was struck for the first time by the eternal aspect of our prayers to God. The story of Zechariah & Elizabeth in Luke’s account of Jesus’ coming taught me to see this. They prayed, pleaded with God for a child. Years went by. No child. Then one day in the temple Zechariah is told “Now is the time, your prayers have been answered.” Just like Abraham & Sarah centuries before, God was providing a miraculous child in their old age. God heard their prayers & answered them in light of eternity. He spoke his “yes”at just the right time. The time that was perfect for the kingdom of heaven.
I don’t think Elizabeth thought. God was going to say yes. It was too late. She asked & time passed so it must have been a “no”. But her prayer was not lost in the cosmos. It had not gone unanswered. It just needs to fit into all 3 strands of time. God wove together His past promises, their present longings & our future hope when He answered their prayer.
Our prayers & our lives are no different.
Paul writes to the early believers that “we know God causes everything to work together. For the good of those love God & are called according to their purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)
We are called to live lives of purpose. Each moment that we we live is woven into the fabric of eternity. Our pasts & our futures have a home in the present eternity we hold right now. For me, that perspective transforms how I view my life. It helps me find the focus to choose my next steps & fills with me with hope. I am anchored in eternity & the God who holds me in his hands is working for good in all the strands of my life. That is joy for the journey whatever lies ahead.