Today is my birthday, and I have a confession to make: on days that mark the passage of time, my thoughts can sound a little like the book of Ecclesiastes. Knowing this about myself, I wanted to spend a little time applying truth to the fears that can piggyback on the passage of time.
What are those fears? On birthdays, it’s not so much a disappointment with my current age but a fear of being old in the future. I’ll lose people and pets and dreams and only time will tell what else. I’ll die, of course.
With New Years, I tend to think a little more universally. The close of each year one brings us closer to the close of time. The end of Earth as we know it.
Maybe the thing that scares me the most about any of it is that it’s out of my control and I have to trust what comes next without having the chance to go look around for myself and approve.
Given the world’s fascination with preserving youth and health and the environment and peace, I’m confident I’m in good company. Humans, in general, are afraid of what comes next.
But as Christians, if some things (time, for example) weren’t out of our control, would we ever trust God? Or would we just stay at the helm and use God as more of a consultant? Actually, would we bother to turn to our Creator at all?
The scary element of time is the beautiful part of it, too. Time is beyond our control but is completely in God’s control. Seconds are at his beck and call. No day can end until he gives the command. No life and no world can exist or fade without his say so. And even when the end comes, his love endures beyond it and into forever.
For great is his steadfast love toward us, the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord! Psalm 117:2 (ESV)
“Do not be afraid! I am the first and the last, and the one who lives! I was dead, but look, now I am alive – forever and ever – and I hold the keys of death and of Hades!” Revelation 1:17-18 (NET)
Jesus’s love for his followers isn’t overpowered by death or limited by time. Because of Jesus, we can rise above the fear. We must still use our days carefully. We’ll only have so many opportunities to share the Good News–and our friends, family, and others will only have so many opportunities to hear it.
But as believers in the resurrected Jesus Christ, we are secure in his love for all time.
Okay, I think it’s time to go celebrate this birthday.
How do you do with birthdays?