the Church on the Hill
by D. Eric Williams
Pastor, Cottonwood Community Church
The weather has turned cold all-of-the-sudden and Advent season is only a few weeks away. Many of the projects I had planned for this year never made it to the drawing board and the things I did accomplish seemed rushed. Where has the year gone?
They say time passes more quickly as you grow older. I can attest to that. Moreover, the sense that time is running out has become more acute with the passing years. Some of the goals I had ten, fifteen or twenty years ago may never be accomplished; there isn't enough time on a daily basis and the average life span simply doesn't allow for everything – or so it seems.
We don't know much about the inner workings of Abraham's mind but we do know he thought time was running out on the covenant promises God had made. The promised heir had not arrived and his wife Sarah was beyond the years of childbearing. For that matter, he wasn't any spring chicken himself. Thinking God might need a little help getting things done on time, Abraham “heeded the voice” of his wife and took Hagar as a concubine, hoping to sire an heir through her. We all know how that worked out. Abraham returned his focus to the Lord were it belonged, but he waited another ten years before Yahweh saw fit to fulfill his promise.
Moses was a man who seemed to have it all. Spared from certain death as a infant, he was raised to a life of privilege in the palace of the Pharaoh. Steven says Moses was learned in all the wisdom of Egypt and mighty in word and deed (Acts 7:22). Josephus (the first century Jewish historian), elaborates on this, writing that Moses was a successful military commander, defeating the Ethiopian army when “he came upon the Ethiopians before they expected him; and, joining battle with them, he beat them, and deprived them of the hopes they had of success against the Egyptians, and went on in overthrowing their cities, and indeed made a great slaughter of these Ethiopians. ...insomuch that the Ethiopians were in danger of being reduced to slavery, and all sorts of destruction” (Antiquities 10:1). Nevertheless, his fame and fortune ended abruptly and he was reduced to herding sheep on the backside of the desert for forty years. His early success seemed a flash in the pan and there was no indication God had any plans for the former prince of Egypt. Then came the day Moses saw the burning bush.
The Apostle Paul once told fellow Believers in Philippi he was confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). That word is ours to claim today. We may not see work being completed and t may seem to us time is slipping away as we are spin our wheels in this life. Yet, if we are walking with the Lord we should have every confidence the founder and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) will accomplish his desired end.
Part of the problem may be that our goals and dreams don't line up with God's plan. If that is the case we are bound to feel as if life has slipped us by. But when we are living in faith, we can trust God when he says, I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out--plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for (Jeremiah 29:11, The Message). Amen!