Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My How Time Flies: The Effects Of Relativity On Faith

Dear friends, don't let this one thing escape you: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:8-9 - HCSB)

When we are young children, it seems like it takes forever for Christmas to get here. When we are old, it seems like we just put the decorations up and it's already time to get them out again. That's because, for all of us, time is relative. A month is a huge amount of time for a four year old, because she has only experienced 48 of them. A month seems like it flies for the 84 year old because it is a much smaller percentage of the life he has already lived.

For God, time is not relative. It is part of His creation. With the creation of the evening and the morning, He created the first day and time. Maybe that is how He can call Abraham a faithful man, and tell us that we are all heirs of the promise of Abraham if we believe. When I read about Abraham, I see him in bits and pieces. I see him leave his homeland in faith. Then I see him wander from the promised land to Egypt in faithlessness. I see his lack of trust in God as he tells his wife to lie in order to protect his own skin. Then I see him exhibit a faith beyond comprehension as he offers his son to God. But God sees the totality of Abraham's life and says that Abraham was faithful.

Every time we read the Bible, we interpret it. And, often, we interpret it or apply it incorrectly simply because we see it from our own perspective rather than from God's. If we do not trust God's perspective, we will not endure when the world mocks our faith. If we do not trust God's perspective, we will question Him during our extended trials. They seem extended and unbearable partly because of our perspective, as Paul writes, "Therefore we do not give up; even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory." (2 Cor. 4:16-17)

We must refocus our minds, realizing that the way we perceive time is relative to ourselves, and that we must perceive God as He is. We must perceive the Bible as He has given it. We must mature our perspective of life, just as a child must mature his own, if we want to endure. Perhaps that is some of what God intends as Paul writes, "So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Cor. 4:18)

The lostness of our world, the seemingly antichristian, immoral, skeptical world is not the end of all things. God is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega. And, He is not worried. And, he is also not late, not behind, not unfaithful. His desire is for our joy, and His desire is for the salvation of those we love.