Times Eternity

I attended my 40th high school reunion. I have a confession about that. We were a class of only 46 souls, but I could not shake this fear that I would not recognize someone or remember a name. It wasn’t that I wanted to impress anyone with a nimble mind to which I lay no claim, but because I wanted us to be as familiar as when we wished each other farewell 40 years ago.

Reunions like that are curious, given the memories and the more experienced vantage point. In my chats with classmates, we generally avoided discussing our metamorphosis from children to adults. In the beautiful home warmed by evening lights and old friends, we shared our stories of careers and families, success and failure. I suspect many wondered how different choices might have led to other outcomes. A review of history invites that. Forty years later we’ve learned some things, including the realization that we cannot change the past even though its lessons remain.

We humans struggle with the bounds of time. We look back with regret and satisfaction, considering the troughs and crests. We look forward with fear, anxiety, and hope, straining to see the weather ahead and accept its inevitabilities. Emily Dickenson penned the verse, “On the wondrous sea, sailing silently, knowest thou the shore Ho! Pilot, ho! Where no breakers roar, where the storm is o’er? In the silent west many sails at rest, their anchors fast; Thither I pilot thee – Land, ho! Eternity! Ashore at last.”

The Bible reveals a God who pre-exists time. He intends His creation to be immune to the ravages of time. But we rejected Him and demanded autonomy, so He subjected us to the limitations and effects of time, our curse (Gen. 3). But He had a plan of redemption in the waiting. For sure, what Jesus did on the cross addresses our need to be saved from the penalty of sin. But it also offers to save us from the bounds of time. The Bible calls it eternal life because God invites us to join Him beyond time in holy fellowship. We receive that privilege by faith in Jesus Christ our Savior. In Him, we will be finally removed from the presence of sin, and the anachronisms of fear and anxiety. He will replace our hopes with a new and wondrous reality.

So here’s a thought. When life brings to mind the trappings and limitations of time, when you pine for the days of yore, regret the paths of yesterday, or imagine the scenes of tomorrow, remember that time may expire but you don’t. If you can say, “My times are in Your hand” (Psa. 31:15), then you can trust God to work for your good now, and you can live confidently while awaiting eternity’s grand reunion.