Every once in a while you read about them. The person who’s been with a company so long that people can’t believe that they’re actually retiring. After 30 or 50 years of working the same job and being a fixture at that business or educational institution, they plan on doing something else and there’s a big hole in the hearts of all the people who have been involved with that business either as a consumer or a fellow worker. Their lament is familiar: “They’ve been here forever! I can’t imagine them not being here. But life goes on.
As December rolls around, people’s minds focus on Christmas more and more each day. We look at the entry of Jesus into the world as the beginning of the time of the Son of God. The theological truth, though, is not that God the Son began to exist when He was born of Mary; the truth is that God the Son has always existed as a member of the triune God. He existed before time began; He will exist when time ceases. He will never retire. No one will ever be forced to imagine life without God. “Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (Psalm 90:1-2)
While it’s true that no one is forced to imagine life without God, there are many who try. For some reason, they have decided that they want to live without the benefit of God’s presence or grace in their lives. Perhaps they have decided that since they can’t see, feel, touch, or hear God that He doesn’t exist. Sometimes they make feeble challenges calling on God to do something if He really exists. Usually those challenges go against the nature of God. He doesn’t zap people with lightning just to prove a point. He doesn’t make the earth quake just because it will cause a person to believe in Him. What He does do is provide for His people. He forgives our sins in His mercy. He gives us grace to strengthen us and allow us to fellowship with Him.
The true joy in knowing God is not in knowing things about Him. The fact that God is eternal; that there was never a time when He didn’t exist and that there never will be a time that He doesn’t exist really isn’t important for our day to day life. What is important for each of us is that not only is God eternal, He is personal. He knows me. He knows my strengths. He knows my weaknesses. Sometimes I don’t love myself as I think of my weaknesses. God loves me in the midst of my failures. He gives me mercy when I deserve judgment. He gives me grace that transforms a man with my great sins into a man He can use to show His love to others. This eternal God, who is from everlasting to everlasting, is also a God of the right now. He loves me, right now. He loves you, right now. He gives me the grace I need to be transformed into the image of His Son, right now. We are a country of the immediate, the right now. We serve a God who loves us, right now.
Lord, I am grateful that Your love and grace comes to me right now, because now is when I need it. I thank You that You have loved me, forgiven me, and filled me with Your grace. Change me by Your grace to be a person who can show Your love and grace to others.