REDEEMING THE TIME
May 13, 2020
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You are the giver of all good and perfect gifts. Indeed, nothing is our own – even time – specifically these 24-hour periods we call days. Please help us to use the time You have given us wisely and redemptively. Teach us to number our days and to live them to Your honor and glory. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Scripture: So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands! Psalm 90:12-17 (ESV)
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16 ESV
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17 ESV
Dear Brothers and Sisters, no one needs to tell us that we live in a time of turmoil. Concern about illness, COVID-19 or otherwise, worry about the limited availability of daily necessities, fear of financial downturns, and depression and isolation due to mandated social distancing are emotions that are overwhelming and all too common. Added to that, teachers are now working remotely, and teaching online which has its own challenges, especially for those of us who are novices thrust into online technology. Teaching online, while it seems to be a flexible situation, often results in our work hours taking over the days and spilling into the evenings. Unless we establish firm boundaries to take the place of previously designated “school hours” and the physical break of leaving the campus classroom and traveling home, we may find ourselves putting in even more hours because our work is always there in front of us.
Furthermore, while we may be practicing social distancing, we are increasingly and by necessity, virtually connected to others and not always in a helpful way. This virtual connection feeds a steady stream of conflicting opinions, updates, and warnings from news outlets, social media feeds, experts, celebrities, friends, strangers, and family members directly into our inboxes and phone messages. Even helpful resources are increasing their output. This ramping up of communication whether well-intentioned or opportunistic, is in itself overwhelming.
Much of what we are experiencing right now, locally and globally, is out of our control, and that fuels anxiety.
But there is something that we can control. We can control our response to the turbulence that is swirling around us and that we feel deep inside.
We can choose to turn toward God and away from fear. We can choose to trust the Father of lights, who does not change and who gives all good gifts. We can choose to seek opportunities to express wisdom and love when others around us are feeling and expressing confusion and outrage. Perhaps this is our moment to redeem the time, for it seems that the days indeed, are evil.
How do we, as believers in a good God, redeem the time? We can ask Him, what would He have us do with the next 24 hours we spend on this planet? Psalm 90: 12-17 seems particularly suited to the season we are in right now, and it suggests that as we press into God and His love, that His works will be a testimony in and through us both now and to future generations. How will you allow the Lord’s goodness to shine forth through you in this increasingly uncertain time? Whether you are preparing lessons, digitally interacting with students, parents, and coworkers, or maintaining a safe physical distance from those you encounter in your neighborhood or at the store, turn to Jesus, trust Him, and seek the ways He wants you to exemplify His wisdom and love.
Copyright by Vicki Milczewsky. Email firstname.lastname@example.org