The dinner plan last night was for burritos. Except that over the course of the past week or so, unbeknownst to the person in charge of dinner, I had eaten all but one of the tortillas. Robin thought she could go to the store for tortillas but then suggested changing to taco salad. We had plenty of tortilla chips so it seemed an excellent idea. But then we learned we had no lettuce or spinach. So off to the store she went.
And minutes after she left the hail started. It was our second hailstorm of the day. Our car was in the garage during the first storm but out in the elements during the second one. Big pieces of hail, the kind that bounced three feet back in to the air when they landed on the driveway. It was a pretty interesting storm to watch from the safety of the house but for everyone who was outside it was very different. It was just a matter of a few minutes that made the difference for us. Waiting a bit longer to start dinner and the storm wouldn’t have affected us in the least.
Last Sunday I preached from 1 Peter 3:18-22. In those five verses Peter touches on four different things that help us to see the good news of God that is fulfilled in Jesus. When we look to the suffering of Jesus we see suffering of the righteous for the unrighteous, suffering that Jesus accepts for the sake of those He loves. When we see the story of Noah we see a preview of God's fuller plan of redemption in Jesus. Baptism points us toward the fulfillment of God's promises in Jesus. As surely was water washes away dirt from our bodies, so too will we be washed in Jesus' blood when we come to Him by faith. And lastly, according to the text I used, we can take comfort in the fact that the Son has ascended to the right hand of the Father, and that He holds all power and authority, right now.
I find comfort and assurance in times of struggle in these verses of Peter. I am reminded that even when the world looks to be completely out of control, God has everything in control. Everything happens within His boundaries, even if I can't see where those boundaries are. Even when my desire would be for Him to move those boundaries in a bit closer.
But the thing is that I wouldn't know any comfort in those verses, or any other verses in the Bible, if I did not first have faith in Jesus. In Romans 10:9 the apostle Paul writes this:
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
Knowing the truth of what Paul is saying, knowing and believing the work of Jesus that lies behind those words, is what makes all the difference. And that is where timing comes in. Believing in the good news of God in Jesus is what advertisers call a "limited time offer." There is a window where it can be received but if a person misses that window then it will be too late. No going back. No second opportunity. And that window is only during this lifetime.
If you have read this far and don't know faith in Jesus then I invite you take a step towards Him and see what He has for you. Talk with a friend who has faith, or seek out a church or a pastor who can give you some direction. Email me and I would be glad to help you along, because it is an opportunity that shouldn't be missed.
Don't delay, because we never know what the next moment will bring. It’s a matter of timing. Let that time be now.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.