It’s really the little things that get you in the end. The shoelace that breaks when you’re already late; the decrepit toaster belching smoke which hangs in the air for days when it finally bites the big one. It’s constantly changing the batteries in the TV remote; the vigilant battle to use expensive vegetables in the fridge before they turn to mush. It’s the new age spot or wrinkle appearing out of nowhere. Father Time drums on creation with an unrelenting pulse, changing us before our very eyes. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re not winning the lethal war against entropy any time soon.
They say “Youth is wasted on the young”, and how true it is. I’ve been really feeling the effects of time lately. My latest trip to the mechanic was nothing but (surprise!) bad news. It seems everything from underwear to vehicles demands to be replaced at regular intervals. There’s unrelenting upkeep required, and woe to you if you don’t do it! The constant grind is enough to make you tear your hair out.
Forget the soft-sell; growing older is hard, period. The problem is, we’re not just dealing with the effects of time, but the accumulation of it as well. The seasons not only pass, they add up. The second chapter is rendered much more difficult, not just by our weakening frames, but by the awareness that we’re in the final stretch and the piper must be paid. The law of sowing and reaping has kicked in, and it’s dawning on us the heavy, painful repercussions some decisions have produced. In youth, we just went for it; gleefully seizing life with gay abandon, gobbling up opportunities. We thought we could do anything…and some of us did. Although we were warned, the Word of God seemed a dusty, lumbering patriarch; full of gloom and doom and dire admonitions from Sunday School. Suddenly we awake in mid-life; choices have now come home to roost. We’re seeing the results of rebellion, disobedience, dishonor, selfishness and contempt with all the many ways we deluded ourselves. Corruption, dysfunction, break-down and estrangement now permeate our circumstances. We didn’t do it God’s way…and now we pay the price. As much as age, regret and bitterness are the burdens we carry. What we would give to go back and do over the right way what we botched at a critical juncture!
Lately, a word has been sitting with considerable weight in my spirit. It’s Galatians 6:7-10.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
No one has lived without sin, pain or stupid decisions. None of us could stand an in-depth examination and come out smelling like roses. It’s impossible to go through life and not pick up some really nasty baggage. Since you can’t best time, and you can’t change the past, how are you going to live with yourself? Here, on the final stretch, what do we really have?
Despite everything, we have Good News. We have Gospel. The really mind-blowing thing about being born again is that you actually step out of time, back into eternity. Not only is are the dominions of sin, death and the Devil broken, but also the tyranny of time. You are, officially, a New Creation. While we live in this world, our bodies are still subject to aging; nevertheless, we’re being slowly and imperceptibly overtaken by glory. So much for entropy. Not only that, but there is a force at our fingertips that can overturn even the garbage and regret of the past. Sound too good to be true? It almost is!
With the blood of Jesus comes the power of both forgiveness and repentance. These two virtues constitute an entire arsenal against the corruptive effects of time and our fallen nature. They tear down strongholds and bring spiritual refreshment. Modern man may sneer at these ancient doctrinal behemoths, but they are in fact, major weapons in dealing with the talon-sharp grasp the past has on the soul. As agents of restoration, they are unparalleled. When we confess our sin and repent, the Lord returns to the moment of our offence, and dissolves the spiritual substance of it off of the earth. All the negative occult energy that entered this realm is removed. Not only that, but He touches the hearts and minds of everyone whom that sin affected, and begins to dissipate the pain, grief, offence and adverse effects that blighted them. He blots it out as if that entire time line never happened at all. When we forgive others, we set the same redemption in motion, from the opposite (receiving) end. Forgiveness and repentance invite all the energetic grace of the Lord to enter and re-align us. By this act, we are acknowledging His supremacy and restoring His order. The added benefit? The Lord also drives the Enemy, the Accuser and the Avenger off of our lands.
God is not mocked. Not by tyrants, tycoons or taskmasters. Sow it, and you will reap it. Only the Blood of Jesus nullifies the power of time and the law of sowing and reaping; we either accept this or reject it. Return to the heartbeat of God and time becomes your ally, not your antagonist.
I challenge you: knowing the deep things that grieve you – have you asked for forgiveness? Know the painful, costly mistakes of your life – have you repented of them? These are simple, but exceedingly powerful processes. Don’t withhold grace from yourself and others, any longer.
It’s really the little things that make the difference in the end.