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TIME (Living in Abundance; Jn. 10:10b, Nov. 2011)

 

It is common knowledge that Time as that which is quantified in seconds, minutes, hours, days, months etc. A lot has been written about Time. Often such literature is with respect to Time as an estimation/description of Period. For instance it is written in Ecle. 3:3-5 that there is a time for everything under the Sun. Time has also been discussed with regards to patience. It has also been written and suggested that as Christians we should be patient with situations and circumstances and allow the will of God to come to pass.

 We may therefore be tempted to ask “you know I have heard all the different perspectives, what else is there really to talk about concerning Time? I should wait for the will of God in patience that’s it, right? Then what new is there to say?” Friend, I have discovered that apart from the fact that Time represents period(s); Time could also be considered in its context as a solution to problems. Time could be considered as a ‘medicine’ that when adequately and appropriately applied could be a remedy to most of the problems that confront humanity. The converse of that statement would also therefore be true. I.e. that the lack of Time, or inability to allow for the passage of time could be partly responsible for most of the calamities and avoidable mistakes that some Christians make even today.

I take interest in studying nature. I have been trying to understand the characteristics of natural storms such as Hurricanes, Tornadoes and Whirlwinds. All of them are very destructive storms that often leave, behind, an unimaginable degree of mayhem; as they lead to high casualty levels in lives and property. These storms are fierce, they come with rage and months and even years after their occurrence humanity will still be managing the destructive effects of such natural disasters. I suddenly saw that there is one common characteristic, a least common multiple, among these storms and that is the fact that no matter how ferocious they are, irrespective of the categorization, every Hurricane / Tornado / Whirlwind, lasts for a relatively short period of time and has an irreducible, unchangeable attribute of self- destruction. In other words even if you do nothing about the storm, whether the storm likes it or not, whether the storm is raving mad or otherwise, with the passage of time the storm, on its own, must ‘lose steam’,  speed and fizzle out as a harmless, weakened and powerless breeze or wind and ultimately cease to exist. Those who survive the destructive tendencies of every wild storm often times are not those who decided to ride it out even when this is avoidable. They are those who have a good understanding that the storm cannot stand the true test of time, stay out of its path, and ultimately celebrate the imminent weakness or death of the once unmanageably powerful and raging winds.

In Matt 2:13-15 we read the story of how the angel appeared to Joseph and warned him of the evil plans of Herod. Joseph was told by the angel to take baby Jesus to Egypt until the death of Herod. This demonstrates, that some times God would rather allow for the passage of time so as to allow the Storm to blow itself away. God knew that like a destructive hurricane, Herod would not stand the test of Time. Instead of allowing Joseph to fight a fruitless fight with Herod and his army he rather instructed him to apply Time, step aside from the storm by going to Egypt so as to come back to Israel on the path to destiny of Jesus when that Herod, would no longer be there.

 In Gen.37:1-28. We read the story of yet another Joseph. He had a dream where he saw himself as ‘ruler’ over his brethren. He shared the dream with those who had no business knowing about it. His father understood exactly what it meant, observed and practically did nothing about it. Then there arose the storms that were on the way to stop Joseph on his path to destiny. It is important that we understand that before the brothers of Joseph decided to sell him to the slave merchants, that ultimately took him to Egypt, their initial plan was to kill him (Gen.37:20). They had actually thrown him into a pit. They cared less whether there was water in the pit. If the pit had water, Joseph would have drowned. God miraculously brought the Ishmeelite trade merchants who bought and took him to Egypt. This route that appeared like a route of suffering and disgrace for Joseph, as he journeyed through Portiphar’s house, was also God’s way of preserving his life by allowing for the passage of Time. I am convinced that had Joseph continued to stay with his brothers, instead of going to Egypt, even after Reuben had rescued him from the pit, as he had initially planned, one of them out of jealousy, while still remembering the dream or its undesirable consequence would have still tried to kill him. God made him to step aside from a destructive storm as constituted by his brothers while yet propelling him towards the realization of his dream and destiny.

In 1 Kgs 19:1-3 we were told that Elijah heard of the threats of Jezebel and ran. Many Bible scholars and commentaries and even preachers have tried to analyze this and somewhat come to a conclusion that Elijah ran purely as a result of fear of Jezebel. My view is slightly different. A thorough understanding of who Elijah was, before and after the encounter with Jezebel, will make us appreciate the fact that fear of Jezebel may not have been, after all,  the main reason why the man of God fled. Look at his track record. In 1Kgs17 Elijah miraculously made the cruse of oil not to cease in the house of the widow of Zarephath. He even raised the dead. Shortly before the threat from Jezebel, Elijah had a fierce confrontation with the 350 prophets of Baal where he called fire to come down from heaven and consume his own sacrifice and subsequently slaughtered the prophets of Baal (1 Kgs 18:38-40). In 2Kgs 1:9-14; a king sent the captain of 50 and his 50 on two different occasions and Elijah didn’t run from them rather he called fire from above and they were roasted.  Such a man was obviously a man of power. Elijah perhaps knew that Jezebel was a senseless raging storm ultimately destined for self-destruction but whose time had not come at that moment. Think of it; why would anyone want to stand on the way, and risk being consumed, by a woman whose fate had already been sealed by God. Why would Elijah really want to waste his time and confront Jezebel that was irreversibly headed towards shameful end, down the line, on the account of the encounter she later had with Naboth. God would still use the same Elijah to pronounce a curse on Jezebel’s head (2 Kgs. 9:31-37). It was rather wisdom that Elijah decided to stay away from the path of Jezebel at that time.

Friend, most of the things we are contending with today in life could be attributed to mistakes; decisions taken in haste; actions taken in a hurry without allowing for the passage of time.

Like natural storms, I have come to realize that most of the problems that Christians go through in life, have the inbuilt tendency and capacity to self-limit if only we will apply the right medication of Time.

That health condition that has given you sleepless nights, after several visits to the physician, and makes it appear as if tomorrow will not come will have a resolution if only you can pray to God and allow him to take control. Then allow some time to pass. For instance 10 years ago getting infected with HIV was almost equated to AIDS. Some who had the virus, at that time, hopelessly surrendered. Some others held on to hope and believed that no matter how horrible and devastating things seem to get, All will be well. Today Time has led to new modes of therapy and we now know that HIV is no longer equivalent to AIDS and death sentence.

That marriage which to you is on the brink of collapse could survive if only you can wait a little. That job is likely to survive, if only you will allow the passage of Time. That business you are about to close, in total surrender, may someday be mentioned as one of the Fortune 500 if only you will give it some more time.

You may say to me “Pastor you don’t really understand what I have been passing through in this house/office/business. I have really had it right up to my neck. I can’t handle this any more. I have prayed and fasted and yet nothing seems to be changing”. “Pastor you don’t get it, I am literally flogging a dead Horse here! I have called meetings upon meetings; everybody has intervened, but the neck of that my boss/spouse is so stiff. He wants to undo me and I think the best thing is just to quit my job/I just have to divorce”.

Yes, I understand what you are talking about. I appreciate what you are going through. I understand that the man/woman has been a torn on your flesh. I understand the fact that your boss really wants to see to your end disgracefully in that office. I understand that the other businessman has decided to take all your clients and run you out of business. I understand all of that. All I am encouraging you to do is to adopt the approach of Joseph, stay away from the eye of the storm, apply the medicine of Time then pray and watch. Watch Time change perceptions and bring out revelations previously unknown to anyone, including you; Watch Time bring out truths that were not apparent before. Much more importantly watch Time lead to the self-destruction of the wicked.

The next logical question could be, “Common Pastor I can’t stand the presence of this man / woman anymore, I can’t stand the presence of the Herod in that house/office. Each time I see him it looks as if I will explode and my BP jumps up. What do I do?” I suggest you still pray and after that you may still have to do what Joseph did; temporarily step away from the immediate source of the irritation, anger, disappointment and humiliation. Go to another room or house for a while. You can go on a brief prayer tour; go to the church and pray. You can go on a short journey; you can apply for some short Leave. While on such vacation keep praying. Talk to God. Ask God to intervene. I am convinced that by the time you return (for you will surely return) the Storm would have fizzled out and you may have a new wisdom on how to move on in the mighty name of Jesus Christ!

Don’t be in hurry to sign those divorce papers (as a Christian you shouldn’t); don’t be in a hurry to submit that resignation letter; Don’t be in hurry to kick that man/woman out of your life and home; Don’t be in a hurry to give up hope concerning that health challenge. Don’t take that decision while you are still overwhelmed with anger and frustration. Wait upon the Lord (Ps.27:14). Allow some Time to pass and you may receive a brand new revelation!

As you wait, patiently or otherwise, always believe that there is nothing too difficult for God to do (Jer. 32:27, Lk1:37, Isa 3:10). Remember that one test that most human problems cannot stand is the test of Time!

If you have not given your life to Christ please do so now for tomorrow might be too late.

God bless you.

 

Pastor Fidelis Nwachukwu

RCCG Throne of Grace Parish

32 E. Washington St

Hagerstown MD 21740, USA

Email: rccgthroneofgraceparish@ymail.com

Website: http://www.rccgthroneofgraceusa.org

 

 

Posted on Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 02:41pm