Monday, November 2, 2009

The Fullness of Time

"It is a good thing for a hurried modern man to come up against something he cannot hurry, for so many of the best things in life are like that. If we limit our lives to the things we can control and hurry or retard at will, we limit our lives to things that are very shallow and unimportant. In one of the great teachings of our Lord, He said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear" (Mark 4:26-28). After the farmer has his crop in the ground and has done his part, he might just as well sleep at night. The outcome of the harvest is in hands much greater than his, and not one thing can he do to hurry the grain to appear in the fullness of time. He might as well trust the processes of God and take time to be sociable with his neighbors, kind to his wife, and interested in his children. No amount of worry will hurry the quiet, ever-active processes of God.

How much peace and joy would increase in the world if we would all remember that things depend on the fullness of time. We take so many things into our own hands and believe our hands must always be active or the world will stop. We seem to think if we stop to enjoy the world, the world itself might stop. One cannot really live without faith that he can plant and cultivate, and then leave the harvest in the hands of God.  When we hear newscasts and wonder what the future holds, what comfort to know that in the midst of all man's meanness and cruelty there is another stream of events flowing silently along. God is letting His seeds grow, and He will bring about his purposes in "the fullness of time, we know not how." One of the great passages of the Old Testament is in Genesis 8 after the flood, the promise that "while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease." God is fulfilling His plans regardless of what men do.

One day in the fullness of time, you will stand on the step of eternity, ready to walk into the glorious presence of the Father. You may pause and look back on the road you have traveled, and say, "If I had only known when I faced....(whatever), if I had only known how God was working out His purposes and His marvelous design in all of this, that His seeds were growing even while men slept, I would not have been so troubled. I would have been more calm and cheerful and much easier to live with."

When we become too wrapped up in the doings of man, it is time to go out at night and look up into the sky and compare man's satellites with the great satellite God has put in orbit- the moon. It is time to ponder the mystery of the seed, and the kingdom that comes in the fullness of surely as springtime follows winter, and birds build nests and sing even when we have not shown them how to do it."

from the book "By the River of No Return" by Don Ian Smith

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