Time is an odd phenomenon, isn’t it? We measure time in minutes, hours, days and years. Yet there parts of our life that seem to counteract time. No doubt you’ve watched a bad movie that seemed to drag on forever and also watched a more interesting one of the same length that seemed to fly by. Times of exhilaration often seem to go by too quickly. Times of suffering may seem unbearably long. Yet years later the time may have seemed to decrease. The passing of time offers perspective to see things more clearly – to those who look for it.
When you consider the battles you’re facing, is it the intensity of the struggle or how long it lasts that makes it so hard? In my situation with the ongoing weakness of Leukemia (weakness being it’s own form of pain) and the ongoing nerve pain, I realize it’s both. The intensity of pain (or sorrow) is one thing for sure. You can tolerate some pain that makes you uncomfortable or makes you sad. But with intense physical pain, depression, or inconsolable grief, you can’t ignore the crippling effect when it takes command of your entire life.
On the other hand, the increasing length of the unrelentless suffering has a cumulative affect. Imagine running a mile and having 10 pounds added to your body every 100 yards. You’d be crippled by the time you reached the end, IF you reached it. And the longer the suffering, the easier it is for our perspective to be one of despair and hopelessness. The psalmist asks, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1) You feel alone and helpless.
But remember dear friend, God always shows up “at just the right time” to rescue us. (Romans 5:6) Galatians 4:4 says, “When the time had fully come.” It didn’t seem like just the right time to Mary and Martha. Their brother Lazarus was a dear friend of Jesus so they sent word asking Jesus to come when Lazarus was sick. But by the time Jesus finally arrived, Lazarus had died and was buried. Mary fell at Jesus’ feet pleading, “If only you had been here (earlier) my brother would not have died.” Maybe you’ve asked the same thing of God, “Where were you in my darkest hour, when I needed you most?” Still, Jesus was there at the right time to demonstrate his authority to raise Lazarus from the dead.
Perhaps we forget that Jesus is already right here with us right now, living within us, suffering with us, ready to speak peace and hope to our soul. Perhaps “Just the right time” means when we have finally come to the end of ourselves, powerless to continue in our own efforts, when the time had fully come for us to look to God alone as our refuge and strength, and not to our own wiles and senses. Perhaps just the right time is when we fully come to understand:
When Jesus is all we have, Jesus is all we need.
Have you come to that place of surrender and peaceful contentment with longing for nothing more than a deeper relationship with Jesus? Have you realized the truth of the old hymn:
“O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in his wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of his glory and grace.”
God showed up at just the right time to rescue us. I wonder if this is just the right time to finally turn everything over to him. Is there something you haven’t fully surrendered to God? Maybe this is just the right time to seek the healer even more than the healing.