Does the timeline of your life rolls up its sleeves and jeer, “You are sooo behind!”?
Maybe it announces, “You should have made a name for yourself by now!” Does the chiming curmudgeon clock in your heart wag a shaming finger at you, asking where you’ve been?
I turned 59 last month and tried to push down that old codger. I asked myself, “Where are all those books I planned to write? Why haven’t I been to Australia yet? I wish I had more money. I wish I had a dog.” Woof!
Thursday. 2:08 pm – School dismissal. I rushed a class of fourth graders out to the bus area, running six minutes late. I felt a surge of panic as the kids raced to their buses. How did we fall behind? I took off my glasses and scrubbed my eyes with a shaky fist.
The Holy Spirit replied, “It’s time to throw the idols of achievement, perfectionism, and superhero stuff out the window.”
Punctuality was everything in my childhood. To be early was to be on time. To be on time was to be late. To be late was to land in the doghouse. Today, I work as a substitute teacher in schools, where everything is precisely timed by a central school clock. You can’t let the kids out to recess three minutes early. There’s no playground supervisor. You can’t dismiss them three minutes after the buses leave. They need a ride home.
But the Holy Spirit whispers, “I’m not in a hurry. You haven’t missed the bus. I’m not worried about you taking too long. Take as much time as you need, girl. I know you intimately. It’s okay that you’re still figuring this thing it out.
“Forgive yourself. Let it go. You haven’t messed up your destiny. That thought is from the accuser. My daughter, you’re in a good position. My promises are intact. Seek My definition of success.
“You’ve got hope and a future. You can’t mess up My sovereign will. Nothing has disqualified you from My unconditional acceptance. Nothing.
“I’m redeeming the time.
“Whenever you see a wall calendar, clock, digital time app, or hear a timer go off, allow joy to rise up, because time is in My hands. I see the beginning from the end. I live in you, and so do My purposes.”
The Lord exists in time and above time. One of His nicknames is “God Who Sees”—meaning that He doesn’t miss a thing that happens. He can open up a seat on a plane flight precisely when you need it. He’s the “Ancient of Days,” and can see the thread of time floating in the space of eternity all at once.
God has immediate access to all our lives—ongoing and continuous—past, present, and future. He forgives us every sin and error. So we can forgive ourselves.
God’s timing, like His will, is good and pleasing and perfect.
Our brilliant Redeemer wants us to be wise as we view circumstances through His eyes. When we visit our past with regret, we’re taking our eyes off Him. The Apostle Paul says that we need to walk with caution and wisdom, redeeming the time. We need to fall into step with our Redeemer, recognizing His ability to make things right. He says that God wants us to “walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time” (Colossians 4:5). We can get in step with our Redeemer.
“When you’re in sync with Me, throw away the timepiece. I exist above the human concept of time.You’re in the right place at the right time. Will you trust Me in this? “
“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry” (Habakkuk 2:2–3).
Friend, in what area of your life are you relying on the Holy Spirit’s timeline instead of your own?
Order The Quest for Self-Forgiveness here! Shred regret and move forward on your timeline as a possibilitarian with hope-filled expectation!