The right place and the right time
Two weeks ago I taught the Bethel Series New Testament lesson on "In the Fullness of Time". God worked toward our redemption throughout history, and in the fullness of time brought Jesus into the picture -- God incarnate, to live, die, and be resurrected in order to restore fallen humankind. I commented that, if it were up to me, I would have had God provide immediate restoration, right there in the garden! But relationship takes its own necessary course, doesn't it? Relationship requires "the fullness of time" on both sides. Authentic love never ignores reality on either side.
I love the mystery of relationship, and the glimpses I get of reality -- how things really work -- in the stories of scripture and in the stories of my own life. "Right here and right now" kind of living requires understanding the process and the goals of relationship . . . and the starting relationship is the relationship between God and each one of us. He created me, formed me, birthed me through my mother, raised me through the circumstances and people of my life, gave me freedom to be me and make my own choices, and loved me enough to redeem not only me but even the fruit of those choices. His goal is relationship today, and relationship tomorrow. He never ignores the reality of who I am right now. He never ignores the reality of who He desires me to be tomorrow and in 500 years. And He never ignores the reality of Who He Himself is -- yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
I am glad for the yearning and drive and impatience I possess, because it shows that I get the ultimate goals, and that I am poised to enjoy those goals as they are fulfilled. I am also glad that He is teaching me patience and appreciation for the process . . . because that patience and appreciation lets me not only enjoy (and grieve) the milestone moments like the birth of my last baby or the last time he nursed at my breast or his graduation from pre-K and advancement to kindergarten -- or, in the more distant past, Mike's 10th birthday almost 13 years ago -- but also savor the little moments like overhearing a spontaneously composed song of worship as Brooks sang alone in his room yesterday or enjoying Mike's 3 emails to me at 5 a.m. this morning. (If relationship is the most precious possession anyone has, then I am very blessed!)
So today I am holding precious things in both hands . . .
In my right hand I hold today, with all of its joys and frustrations. May I live it fully and feel it fully!
In my left hand I hold my longings for the future, and the wish (and fervent prayers!) that I could make some of those things happen "right here and right now"!
In the right place and at the right time, God gives wonderful things to those He loves!