Limits are restricting. They push and pull at the borders of our comfort and nag at our innate desire to be free. Our eyes and hearts are drawn longingly to the idea of being unregulated, free-spirited, independent, limitless. If you look around you, you’ll find that limits are more a part of your world than probably realized. Commitments that hold you at a certain place throughout your day, your job, your household chores, your bank account…and the list goes on. There are speed limits on the freeway, even when you’re running twenty minutes late to work because the dog decided to puke on your favorite blanket, and your hair just wasn’t cooperating that morning. Social media may tell us there is a limit on how we should look, how much we should eat or even what we should be eating. We’re restricted in our minds as we become more and more aware of the opinions of the people around us. Bound and crippled by insecurities and self-doubt. Limitations are everywhere, seemingly inescapable, but deviously unnoticed by many. They become a part of our daily lives with such a force, that they are the very rules and decrees we unconsciously live by.
There’s one limit, though, that outmaneuvers all the rest; that all of the other limitations in our world are commanded by. The king of limits himself…
Have you ever felt the breath of time, hot and full of angst, creeping down your spine? You can feel it closing in on you, as there never seems to be enough of it within each day. We lose loved ones to time, friendships fade when time isn’t given and promises collapse under the heavyweight of time forgotten. Opportunities and people pass you by in life and you feel like you’ve missed your chance as the sad song of “the timing just wasn’t right” flashes on repeat through your hectic mind. I know that lately, I have felt prisoner to time as I feel it continually racing by, despite my attempts at forcing it to slow down. Always struggling with contentment, there are days and seasons of my life where I wish more than anything that time would speed up. So I live by this mantra that if I can make time move at my own pace, if I can be master to my own timing, then I can find everlasting contentment.
Do we waste the sweet moments wrapped up in God’s perfect timing as we wish for more and beg for less?
I would love nothing more than to have the ability to take those sweet moments hidden exclusively in my memory, pluck them from my mind, and relive them again. Memories of laughter and love with family and friends, traveling to new and beautiful places, to even go back to a time where life didn’t seem so… adultish. Yet, in the quiet of night when sleep escapes me, there are other, hard memories. Memories from a past with an insecure seventeen-year-old girl longing to be known, who made choices that still make her heart ache if given the time to glance into the past. Painful moments of watching my mother battle cancer as chemotherapy, the drug that is supposed to bring life, made her feel like she was dying. I watched as her hair fell out, her smile faded, and we all desperately pleaded with time to speed up. There are situations I would never relive again, and then there are moments that I wish I could erase and rewrite.
Time is our greatest limit because once given, it cannot be taken back; nor can it be predicted. We can’t speed it up or slow it down, we can’t travel back and rewrite past mistakes or things unsaid. The only thing we can do with our time is to trust the Clockmaker.
What if we stopped viewing time as a limit, and viewed Him more as a teacher?
What if we made the decision today to stop wishing for a past life rewritten, and instead, praised Jesus for the wounds we bear because they make us strong?
The Clockmaker, God Himself, is not surprised or limited by time. We may feel like time has mastered us when we get to the end of our day and feel weary and exhausted, but God is waiting for us to acknowledge that His timetables are master to all.
Here’s the bottom line – the pain you’ve been through, the hard decisions you’ve had to make, the mistakes you wish you could erase, the life you long for, the beautifully sweet moments you long to relive – they all come together to make you exactly the person you are today. The Clockmaker has you right where you are supposed to be and to think anything else is a lie from an enemy that desperately wants to see you lose…to lose the gift of time that Jesus so freely gives us, and the joy that comes from overcoming instead of wishing away a difficult season. The enemy longs to see you fall victim to the lie that you have wasted your time, that there is a deadline to arriving at your dreams and the person you want to be. The lie that you have missed out on something better, instead of choosing to believe that God shifted you in a different direction.
Friends, you have a choice every single day to either listen to the lie that time is your enemy or believe that the Clockmaker’s timing is perfect and therefore, His timetable can be trusted. We can walk through this life learning how to submit our time under the command of Jesus, or we can waste it by looking over our shoulders to a past we regret or obsessing over a future we covet.
Here’s the truth whether you like it or not. Our Clockmaker has ordained this very moment you are in and has something for you right where you are. God, the Clockmaker, doesn’t make mistakes. He has already written out your story, and only He knows how the chapters are going to unfold. So, to stress about the future is not only harmful to you, but it is devastating to a God that obsessively and perfectly loves you.
Will this life be easy? Heck to the NO. It will be hard, painful, messy and enchantingly chaotic. Why would you want to miss the lessons that the Clockmaker brings with timing by wishing for an ability you were never created with? You can’t go back, you can only start again. Guess what? That, in it of itself, is the greatest gift that God gives us through time. His grace played out through a million second chances.
He has made everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
This is my all-time favorite verse, and I love it so much that I decided to spend my hard-earned money to get it permanently tattooed on my shoulder. Next to that verse on my shoulder is a Peony, my favorite flower. Peonies symbolize beauty and fragility; they illustrate that great rewards are only made possible by taking great risks. This flower is not my favorite on accident, and it was not placed on my body next to my favorite verse just to be cute. It is a daily reminder to me that the Clockmaker commands my destiny; my past, my present and my future. It is an outward expression that I fully acknowledge and believe that by taking the risk of putting my timing in the hands of the Clockmaker, I reap the greatest reward – pure contentment and unadulterated joy in the presence of Jesus.
I am not limited by time because I serve a God that has no limits. I am known, seen, heard, understood, fiercely loved and always protected by the Clockmaker. He can be trusted, and therefore, His timing can be trusted. Is it what I desire all of the time? No, honestly most of the time you can find me arguing with the Clockmaker that my timing is better. Then, just as He faithfully does, He whispers sweetly, I make all things beautiful in their time, Beloved, you are not unseen. And then I am reminded once more of His goodness wrapped deeply in the exquisite mystery that is His perfect timing.