Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV
Time, where have you gone, I think when I lie down on the couch in the evening, after the children have finally fallen asleep and I can rest. Then I think about the day and often realize that it has passed by so quickly.
Time, what have you done to me? When I look in the mirror in the morning and see myself I ask myself: Where has my time gone. The signs of time are clearly visible in my hair, which is becoming increasingly gray and in the small wrinkles that were not there last week.
Time, where am I? When I turned 40, how to deal with my lost time became a big problem for me. What can I expect from my remaining time, how long do I have left of my life?
Time for growing. When my 5 year old daughter comes to me and tells me that her shoes are too small, I take a more conscious look at her and realize that she grown again. Where has the time gone? Didn’t I just hold her in my arms while breastfeeding her?
That is when the text in Ecclesiastes usually comes to my mind: "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens“ Ecclesiastes 3, 1 NIV.
During this period we have opportunities and possibilities to use our time well. In the story of creation, God showed us how to allocate our time. We are to work six days and on the seventh day rest and spend time with Him. But even on the other six days God wants us to start our days with Him. Jesus is a good example.
But also on the 6 other days he wants us to start them together with him. In Mark 1:35 we read, " Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.“ Jesus showed that God wants to have a close relationship with us. We are to take time for God every day. Just like Mary, who took time to listen to Jesus, while Martha stood in the kitchen cooking.
God has given all the same amount of time each day, but Satan knows how to make us fill our time, too. I have experienced how Jesus gave me time for all that I had to do. It is important to start the day with Jesus. By reading the Bible and praying, we are closer to Him than we would otherwise be in a day. Also through the gift of the Holy Spirit we are able to see Jesus in our day, even if we rush from appointment to appointment. It could actually be that we meet Jesus or an angel in our daily life.
I would like to tell you about an encounter with an angel. My father had to go to a doctor's appointment in Hamburg and I picked him up in his wheelchair from the nursing home. When we got to the house where the doctor's office was, I noticed that there was no ramp. I prayed silently to God for help. A gentleman helped me to carry the wheelchair up the stairs. He even stayed and waited to help us get back because he knew that I would not make it up the stairs alone. This experience was so profound for me that I have to say he was an angel. This gentleman took the time to wait for us. For me, this gift is one of the greatest that a person can give. Giving time to a stranger is really very precious. I praised God and told this to my father, who was not so aware of it. But Jesus gives us short moments in our everyday life with which we get in touch with Him.
Like Anna. She is an example of what can happen when we give ourselves completely to God. She was a prophetess, a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Together with Simeon she recognized the Saviour when Joseph and Mary took the baby to the temple to present him to the Lord. „Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem“ (Luke 2:38).
Here is a quote from the "Woman's Bible" about this encounter on page 1302.
“It was only a moment, but a moment of recognition. God was in her midst. She knew it, and proclaimed it to others. There are prophetic moments in a woman’s life – times she is acutely aware of God’s presence. Rightly understood, those moments lead to transformation and witness, becoming not only memorable to her, but powerful for others who hear of it. The text states that Anna „served God with fastings and prayers night and day“. This suggests that much commitment and preparation go into the kind of connection with God that helps a woman become attuned to His voice and His Spirit. This story also speaks specifically to women who dedicate their lives to ministry, reminding them of their first commitment: time with God.“
Although we don't know more about Anna, she is an amazing woman. Through her devotion to God, she was allowed to see the Savior. Her heart overflowed and she told everyone. She can be an example for us. We don't have to go to a temple now, but the daily connection with God gives us moments in which we recognize God and we may tell about it. Have courage to tell about your encounters as well.
In our daily devotions we build a relationship with God and can recognize Him in everyday things through the Holy Spirit. I want to encourage you. Spending time with God is not a waste of time. If you ask God to give you a slot of quiet time because you are seeking Him, He will do just that.
Time does not always seem to be on our side, but we can trust that the one who invented time holds it in his hands and gives us successDon‘t give up. Even if we do not manage to spend time with God every day, we can be sure that He loves us infinitely.
I would like to leave you with the text in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Why not insert Jesus when you read the word love, because Jesus is love?
"Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind. He not envy, does not boast, is not proud. Jesus does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs. Jesus does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Jesus always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Jesus never fails.“