Day 24 of 40 Days to Celebrate the King: When Time Stood Still
Today’s reading is Psalm 85 and Revelation 1:1-8
There is a phrase that I use often. I am not sure what it means but I do know, that it describes a phenomenon that we all have experienced, and when I tell you about it, you will know exactly what I mean. I will say about some moment or some event, time stood still. I mean there was something that happened that was so awesome, so impactful, that as it was taking place, everything else seemed to fade into the background, all sense of where I was or what I was doing seemed to disappear, and at that moment all that there was–was that moment. Here are three of them.
November 19, 1977, is the date of my first marriage. (Oh, I’m just kidding. It is the date of my first, and only, marriage.) Doris has always been beautiful to me. The first time I saw her my heart leaped into my throat. When I see her now walk out of her little dressing area, (15 minutes late) all dolled up to go out with another couple, I catch my breath. But on November 19, 1977, at about 10 minutes after 7, she turned the corner to come down the aisle and time stood still. In that moment there was nothing else. I could not tell you who else was in that tiny church, what they were playing on the organ, or the score of the Tennessee-Alabama football game. (21 to 3, Tennessee). I only saw and remember the most beautiful bride I have still, ever seen.
Here’s another one. I don’t know the exact date but it was late fall at the farm in Dickson County. Jon-Mical, my oldest, now 13-year old grandson was not quite 4. I had taken him for a day in the woods. We hiked, and climbed trees, and skipped rocks in the lake. Just about dusk, I built a little campfire and we began to roast marshmallows on two long sticks I had cut off and sharpened. Jon-Mical was sitting in my lap, holding his stick over the fire, watching the flames turn his marshmallow black. When it was blazing good, he would hold it over his shoulder without turning his head. I would blow it out. He would pull the gooey black stuff off, again pass it over his shoulder without looking and stick it in my mouth. Then with those same gooey, grungy fingers, pull off the rest of the mellow and eat it. I remember thinking, this is a moment that 10 years from now I will be able to close my eyes and describe in absolute detail. I can. Time stood still.
The last one. I was 12-years old, and at my, first Junior High School church camp in Batesburg, SC. It was a perfect summer night, cool breeze blowing through the open-air tabernacle, after a muggy, steamy South Carolina day. Moody Gunter was preaching. I don’t know what he talked about. I just remember him inviting kids to walk down the sawdust aisle, kneel at the old wooden altar, and invite Jesus into your heart. With a lump in my throat the size of a piedmont peach, I stepped out into that aisle and time stood still. I am sure I had prayed that prayer before. I know I have many times since. But right there, right then, everything else stopped and I can tell you to this day what that felt like.
Revelation 1:8 is a time stand still verse. Jesus says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end. I am the One who is, and was and who is still to come—the Almighty One.” All of time comes to a screeching halt in Jesus. Everything else fades away. Circumstances disappear into the background. Anyone else or anything else that was clamoring for our attention is silenced when we come face to face with Him. Time not only stands still, it ceases to exist.
There is so much about that I do not understand. And yet, so many things are answered in that. Does God already know the decisions I will make? Sure. Time stands still for Him. Why do bad things happen to good people? Without time there is no “happen.” God’s final and supreme good for us is already. Where is God when I am waiting for Him to answer prayer? Well, He’s sure not looking at His wristwatch, waiting for the right time to come through.
The fact that with Jesus, all time stands still solves an awful lot of problems, gives me great comfort in bad “times,” and keeps me focus on Him and the ultimate destination He has for me. The stuff I am dealing with here, that’s just time. But Jesus is here, now. He was around before this all began. And He will be there waiting for me when it is all over. He is the Beginning and the End, The Almighty One. In Him, time stands still.
Here are two questions for you today. When is the last time you lost track of time while spending time with Jesus? And, why not now?
Blessings, See you tomorrow.