Getting to “Due Time”
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
I have been in a funk all this last week. While transporting quite a number of the most used books in my library back to Georgia, they were all stolen off the back of our car in Tennessee; a large container of 70-80, many large hardbacks. Since they were all theology books I am hoping Tennessee is a bit more sanctified than it was. Many can be replaced with enough money; unfortunately, there were out of print and hard to find books mixed in, and my late mother’s Bible in which she had written extensively in the margins throughout. I have been using it in my Bible reading for the last two years. As I was sharing my misfortune with a close friend he brought my feelings under divine scrutiny by telling me of the severe troubles that have just recently impacted two families we both know. After hearing the depth of their suffering, my case is brought into a more realistic perspective: truly “light and momentary.
Isn’t it true that all of us who claim Christ as Lord and know His Word still need to be reminded of verses like the text above on a regular basis to get our “eyesight properly aligned? Perhaps one of the most thought and asked questions in life is, “Where is the God of justice? (Malachi 2:17) Or, how soon will the injustices of life be avenged? In the Apostle John’s Patmos vision of Revelation when God draws back the curtain on heaven past and future, even “righteous men made perfect, martyrs who inhabit the courts of heaven now, are seen to call out for justice and the avenging of their blood, as they ask, “How long, O Sovereign Lord, how long? (Revelation 6:9-11). Even Jesus’ response to these crises of injustice is, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. Time creatures that we are God’s “quickly and our “quickly are two quite different things, but the difference in perspectives will be obliterated in “due time. The “due time of Deuteronomy 32:35 and 1 Peter 5:6 will come; some will be made ready and “fit, while others will receive their due!
The interim is definitely not “wasted time. Nothing even close to “wasted. There is a process going on in the “interim that one day we will not be able to find enough words for which to thank God that He did not bang the gavel of justice any sooner. Though we often have to have the wax cleaned out of our ears, this message of the resulting glory of the perseverance and patience of faith practically leaps off the pages of the Scriptures throughout the entire Bible. But often we are stone deaf to it. The chiseling of the Magnificent Sculptor of our lives is ever at work using orchestrated events, troubles, people and time to insure that we will stand in the judgment that is coming. Malachi 3 and 4 is one of those many bull horns of Scripture used of God to penetrate the wax build-up in our ears. This is what God is about in the interim of which we often complain, because the Day of the Lord is coming when the Sculptor’s work will be forever complete; and He will say, “Today is due time!
“The Son of God goes forth to war, a kingly crown to gain; His blood red banner streams afar: Who follows in His train? Who best can drink His cup of woe, triumphant over pain, who patient bears his cross below, he follows in His train.
“The martyr first, whose eagle eye could pierce beyond the grave, who saw his Master in the sky, and called on Him to save: Like Him with pardon on his tongue in midst of mortal pain, he prayed for them that did the wrong: Who follows in his train?
(First two verses of Reginald Heber’s hymn, “The Son of God Goes Forth to War, 1827)
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