Albert Einstein supposedly proposed, “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” I am not sure that the great thinker had fully deciphered time’s purpose or its effect. To be honest, it often seems like everything is happening at once; and in my opinion, time does have a more encompassing function than Einstein described. Time also exists to help us mark the opportunities that God has provided for us. Indeed, there are specific moments that God has ordained to use for our good and His glory. He Himself reigns over time and its events! And He directs them purposefully and consequently for our lives! The Teacher stated it so succinctly and powerfully: “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven . . . He [God] has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out work which God has done from the beginning even to the end” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11 NAS). Do you hear King Solomon’s affirmation of God’s intentional design? He declares that there is a specific time/purpose for every event and that God has placed everything within His divine timing.
What a truth to recognize! Biblically, we see it; practically, we experience it. Perhaps some of you remember my comments about our recent audio/visual upgrades and how God provided. In 2019, we began to move forward with planning for a major technological improvement so that we could begin livestreaming our services with excellence. Of course, we understood that such a move would require a great deal of resources, and we began to pray that the Lord would take care of this area. Some weeks later, God opened the door and the resources flowed! In our minds, we reasoned that we could kick off our livestream on Easter Sunday. So much for our genius! God had other plans for the moment. No doubt, He had us perfectly prepared to go online with our worship services a month earlier than we imagined so we could minister to individuals who were sheltering in place at home. I still marvel at that! Yet, God was also working in other areas. Andy Carter, our Media Director, asked me what I thought we should do with our older equipment (e.g. the camera that we had previously used in the Sanctuary). Should we sell it? Give it away? Ultimately, we decided to send it to one of church planting partners in Chicago where two of former Tech students served on staff. Recently, one of those former students who directed the technological services for the church related how they received the camera and equipment the very week that they had to go online. He said, “Dr. Reggie, it was that camera that allowed us to continue our services through livestream!” You see, not only did God work in a timely way to take care of us, but He was also providing for others through us! (I think someone should stop and said “Amen” here.)
Our God does not waste moments. Take this past Sunday as another example. During my message on reconciliation (Exodus 18), I said that I believed that I wasn’t just preaching because it was “the hour for the message”; instead, I was convinced that I was bringing the “message for the hour.” And wow! How God affirmed that! After one of our services, a young lady sought me out to tell me that the message was just for her. She related how she had gotten up that morning and driven around trying to determine which church to attend. Her marriage was falling apart, and she needed a place to worship. She pulled into Temple’s parking for the first time, walked into services, and was confronted with the sermon on reconciliation. Is that not God’s sovereign hand at work? If you aren’t convinced, let me share with you about the mother who texted me to say that she and her daughter watched the message online together . . . and how they wept over her daughter’s strained relationship with her husband. Or how about two mothers who texted me on Monday to say they needed special prayer for reconciliation with their sons, or the husband who dropped by to express gratitude for a renewed commitment to his wife, or the mother who stopped us in the grocery store to share how the message gave her hope for a restored relationship with her daughter and son-in-law. My friends, God can use any moment! Any word! In fact, He will use the time He has given us! As Jim Denison declares, “If God could not use you in these chaotic times, you would not be alive in these chaotic days. He has equipped you with the gifts, abilities, experiences, and resources you need to make a kingdom difference where and when you are.” Redeem the time you have, my brother and sisters! You won’t regret it! See you Sunday!