Time rolls on - not stopping for anyone or anything. One month ago today was Christmas. Ash Wednesday is three weeks away. If seasons were marked the way I think they should be (starting on the 1st day of every 3rd month), winter would be two-thirds over. Time flies - even when you are not having fun. We live in a 24-hour world.
My neighborhood looks pretty quiet when I rise at 5:00 a.m., but the freeway is crowded when I pull onto it. On my morning commute I hear how the stock markets have done in other parts of the world while I was sleeping. My day flies by with appointments and office work, conversations, prayer, and a hundred other things. Yet, for many the day is just starting when I am crawling into bed at 10:00 pm.
Work schedules, times and lives are all over the charts. Auto workers work shifts that sound like Fire Department hours. There are 12 hour days and 4 day weeks, and everyone - even those who have retired - it seems is overbooked and constantly on the go. We recently had someone working in our condo who generally came, and left, while I was asleep - had I not seen the evidence of his work, I would not have known of his presence! We live in a 24-hour world.
And, apparently, this is nothing new! Way back when the psalms were written the comment was made, "The Lord protects you; the Lord is a shelter right by your side. The sun will not strike you by day or the moon by night." (Psalm 121.4-5) This sounds like we have a 24-hour God for our 24-hour world.
Psalm 91 says it this way: "His faithfulness will be a protective shield. You will not fear the terror of the night, the arrow that flies by day, the plague that stalks in darkness, or the pestilence that ravages at noon." (91.4-6) When David writes, "Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life" (Psalm 23.6) my assumption has always been that he is talking about 24-hour days, not just daylight hours. And when Jesus says, "Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28.20), I have never seen it followed by an asterisk and small print stating, "Certain rules and restrictions apply." We have a 24-hour God living with us in our 24-hour world.
"Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas, though its water roars and foams and the mountains quake with its turmoil ... Nations rage, kingdoms topple, the earth melts when he lifts his voice. The Lord of Armies is with us, the God of Jacob is our stronghold." (Psalm 26.2-3,6-7) This week I have met with people who are in the hospital and those who are in mourning. I have had multiple conversations with those who are rediscovering their faith, and others whose commitment to Christ's mission inspires me. The news told us of an earthquake in Alaska and of another school shooting, and the front page of Today's Free Press lists the names of all those who testified at this week's sentencing hearing for the "monstrous doctor."
Yes, we live in a 24-hour world that is filled with monsters and tragedies, high speed chases and high speed living. And yes, we have a 24-hour God living with us in our 24-hour world. Here is his promise: "Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act, making your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like the noonday. Be still before the Lord and wait expectantly for him." (Psalm 37.5-7)
And know that he will be there ... 24-7 ... for you.