Saturday, August 20, 2011
Many years ago, one of my young children was perplexed by concepts like God's foreknowledge, and God's "plan" VS our freewill; she also wanted to know, "Who created God?" When pondering how to answer her, I realized that God CREATED TIME, as well as everything else. He lives outside of time. Time is within the confines of his creation; it is for us, like Earth is for us, and air, water, and fire. Sun, moon and stars, height, breadth ,depth and space are all within creation's realm and all are subject to time.
I think many perplexities can be answered by this understanding.
We live our lives on Earth, subject to the" rules" of creation and the reality of corruption. We exist moment by moment, while God sees the entirety of time -- beginning to end. He saw all of our moments before one of them was lived. He knows how the story turns out before it is experienced. (I believe this is one reason we do not see him " intervene" as we would like.) We experience suffering, love, joy, rest, peace, fear, hope -- all these are subject to his "rules," his artistic and divine organization.
Death, too, is one of the "rules" to which we must submit. But is death the end of us? As long as people have existed, they have wondered what happens after life is over. And few have experienced it and have lived to report back to the living. Many who have faced the end have told of seeing their life in a flash. Isn't that interesting? If we saw our lives in a flash, we would see how the things we are worrying about work out. We would see the cause and effect of our decisions -- we would see as God sees. Perhaps, we would relax about some things and change others.
The Bible reports that Lazarus found out. So did Jesus.
I believe the testimony of those who came close to the end of life, and those who died and came back demonstrates that when our physical life ends...we do see. Time as we knew it ends, which means we go on. But what do we see next?
There are those who do not believe there is a creator. Their belief, I think, is that the time of our lives is subject to rules that came together because they worked. Billions of years of trial and error, and success of certain elements, brought the organization and interdependence of all into being. I used to think that too.
But there is much to be explained with that viewpoint as well. There is the fossilized tree that stands upright in the strata of rock, and "the chicken and the egg," too! There is still a life to be lived and a death to be experienced.
And then what?
Both viewpoints require tremendous faith! One in a loving and all-wise creator who lives outside of time; the other in random success of what came into being out of nothing. For the one who does not believe in God, it stands to reason that she must live for self, and self-preservation is paramount. Even giving and loving has a selfish motive underlying. A person with no God must be her own creator, or must create another god. And if she doesn't serve self, she is foolish...she limits the success of the fittest. It wastes time.
TIME as a creation of the Creator answers a lot of questions -- even the question of the age of things and how long they took to come into being. Either way we look at life, time is a reality we see and to which we are subject. Then, believe in God or not, our time on Earth ends. How should that time be spent is the question. Subsisting? Serving? Working? Loving? -- Who decides?
For me, time is spent being a creation in progress. I am the painting, the sculpture, the building, the landscape, the pot in the hands of the potter. I do not know the purpose or reason for every moment lived, but my creator does. I do not know my end, but he does. He saw it before I began. Ahhh, peace.! I don't have to be the god of my life!
Either way one believes, each moment, each day we live -- the time of our lives is subject to something -- purpose, selfishness, or randomness. I choose to believe in and be subject to the King of Creation. (It has always been difficult for me to admit that my life is for God's glory, that every decision is not in my hands. But thinking in terms of a creator, it is easier to understand and appreciate.) I am paint, clay, flesh in His care. This brings peace, rather than striving; hope rather than fear.
Come what may. I will trust you, Father. You are a great artist! Your creation is beautiful. Create what brings you glory. I'm looking up. I'm looking at you. My time is in your hands. Create away!
My Father's Words
Father's Love Letter
You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb. Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me. John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalms 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4
And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7
I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is…Will you be my child? John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32
Love, Your Dad.... ...Almighty God
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