I live in Michigan. As some have said, we have 2 seasons – winter and road construction!
That’s because the winters, with all the plowing and salting, lead to potholes and road deterioration. Deterioration leads to road repair and construction. To be honest, I complain, probably too frequently, about the inconvenience of the construction. Yet I’ve come to realize I do like the construction. Why? First, because I always like the new, improved completed road. But also because it reminds me of a biblical truth: our lives are always under construction.
This means that we will experience nasty potholes, brokenness, pain, repairs, and detours. None of us relish such times. Yet I believe we need to value them. My faith has taught me that such times are the growth times of my life. My faith reminds me that God has loving control over our lives. Think about King David. He shares a great insight in Psalm 31:15: “My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.” “My times are in your hands.” David was convinced that far from being removed from the events of his life, God was, in fact, intimately involved in them. ‘Times’ are events that we do not plan – they just occur; they are the potholes, brokenness, pain, repairs, and detours – those critical moments or events in our life which we did not create but which ultimately determine the course of our life. David was turning over the resolution of these times, these events, to God. “I entrust my life to your sovereign disposition. It’s up to you what becomes of me. And that’s okay!” I love how David put it: ‘My times – Your hands.”
Now we cannot control the ‘times’ of our lives but we can control our response to them. ‘My times – Your hands.” As Leslie Brandt paraphrases Psalm 31: “There is no place to go, nothing to cling to. I can only come back to You and cast myself on Your loving mercy. You are my God…From this point on I will dedicate my hours and my days into Your loving hands. I seek only Your guidance and strength to carry out Your purposes. Restore me, O God, to your program and design for my life.” ‘My times – Your hands.”
What would it mean for you to affirm this conviction? ‘My times – Your hands.” How would it change your response to this current ‘time’ in your life? Can you say with Paul, who wrote Timothy (2 Tim. 1:12): “…I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day?” ‘My times – Your hands.” Can you, in the depths of your soul, share the conviction of the Heidelberg Catechism that “I trust in (God) so completely that I have no doubt that he will provide me with all things necessary for body and soul; that Moreover, whatever adversity he sends upon me in this troubled life he will turn to my good, for he is able to do it, being almighty God, and is determined to do it, being a faithful Father?” Are you absolutely convinced of “The almighty and ever-present power of God whereby he still upholds, as it were by his own hand, heaven and earth together with all creatures, and rules in such a way that leaves and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and unfruitful years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, and everything else, come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hand?” ‘My times – Your hands.” Do you believe that?
Think of Jesus. On the cross, breathing His last, He quoted Ps. 31:5 – “…Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father into your hands I commit my spirit.’” As Jesus placed himself in God’s hands, so we must place ourselves in Jesus’ hands. As God said (Is. 43:13) “No one can deliver you out of my hand” so Jesus said (John 10:27-30): My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
Think about Jesus’ hands.
In his hands ordinary drinking water turns into the most expensive of wines. In his hands handicaps become stepping-stones to the miracles of God. In his hands 5 loaves and two fish can feed a multitude. In his hands storms are but channels of safe passage and paths to peace. In his hands those soiled with sin are cleansed. In his hands lame legs leap for joy. In his hands deaf ears become avenues of sound. In his hands blind eyes become corridors of light. In his hands death becomes but a prelude to life. Jesus’ hands make all the difference. ‘My times – Your hands.” We can embrace the words of Paul (Rom. 8:28 MSG), “That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”
I do complain, probably too frequently, about the inconvenience of the construction in my life. But that’s my humanness. In my heart, I like road construction. It reminds me that God is at work – He’s truly not finished with me yet. He loves me enough to do the necessary repair and construction. And I have a hunch I’ll like the new, improved completed construction!