Some people don’t seem to be able to live without excitement and stimulation in their lives. You know them. They are members of dangerous sports clubs. They take part in extreme sports such as Bungee Jumping and Sky Diving. We might call them adrenalin junkies. They are people who often regard the time in-between their activities as wasted time. Time that is unimportant. Time that doesn’t count. A waste of time.
Those early disciples found themselves living between the times when Jesus rose from the dead. After His resurrection, Jesus spent time teaching and commissioning His disciples to teach others about the Kingdom of God. And, on the day of His Ascension into heaven (Acts 1:1-11) they were anxiously asking Him when the next instalment of the divine plan would take place. When would His Kingdom be established on earth?
Jesus tells them that it is not for them to know the times or seasons established by God and they would have to wait for His promises to come true. But, in living between the times, they were to be active, not passive, in their faith.
Living between the times is when we are to work at the present rather than that which is yet to come. But God knows that living between times isn’t easy, which is why Jesus told us this involves both waiting and praying (Luke 21:36).
For many of us, waiting is a dreadful thing. Living between one phase of our lives and the next; between one job and another; between the time when the first child has left school and the last has yet to start; between the period when we have lost one dear friend and have yet to find another; are difficult times for all of us.
When living between the times, our eyes are to be fixed on the present moment that God has given us and what it is God wants us to do with it and in it. In living between the times, we are not to lapse into complacency or lulled into a false sense of security just because nothing seems to be happening. We are to be patient in our waiting.
Living between times, can be a pause that refreshes. A time to strengthen our faith. A time to prepare for all that will come next.
Many Christian’s struggle with prayer. But prayer is not some mystical enlightenment for a chosen few – it should be a natural part of being a Christian and is, probably, the most important activity of our lives. We can pray about any situation/person/circumstance – anytime, anyplace, anywhere. Brother Andrew says:
If we want to leave an indelible mark on the world, there is no more powerful way to do it than by joining in God’s purposes through prayer. Our Prayers can go where we cannot. While many things may seem impossible from a human standpoint, in the realm of prayer there are no impossibilities.
It’s amazing what happens when we pray. Former Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, famously said:
When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don’t, they don’t.
When praying, we pray for perseverance to cope with the trials of life. We pray for strength to walk positively and purposefully as Christians. We pray against despair and doubts and fears. We pray for God’s grace in our daily lives. We pray that God will enable us to be stronger disciples. We pray for opportunities to share with others the good news of Jesus’ return. We pray: Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
May God’s richest blessing be upon you as you ‘wait and pray’ for God’s plans for your life.
This is a copy of my article for the May 2019 edition of the Billericay ‘Around Town Magazine’