Time is so precious and, for many, in such short supply, yet I have so much. This isn’t a complaint, I’m very blessed to have this time, especially at the age of 21, I’m even more blessed to have Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.
I do have longings; longings to serve, longings to get a job and start a family but I am just too unwell for that. I have time, not health, not physical strength, ability or energy. I’m not useless though.
From a worldly perspective I may be seen as a “burden to society and the taxpayer” but to my Father in heaven I’m his beloved child. He has shown me that with time, and little strength, I have more opportunities to become reliant on him, trusting him with each moment of my day. I can learn who he is and who he wants me to be. I can remain always in the temple of the Lord; I have ME and I have Jesus, I am a temple of the Holy Spirit. I have the divine privilege – perhaps the divine task of becoming an Anna of my generation. Luke 2:36-37 tells us who Anna is…
“36 There was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher (she was of a great age, having lived with a husband seven years from her virginity, 37 and she had been a widow for about eighty-four years), who didn’t depart from the temple, worshiping with fastings and petitions night and day.” (WEB)
I am a widow of good health; I have had time to grieve, which God has helped me to do, he has sustained me, and through it he has remained faithful. He has shown me that life is not about a job or marriage – though those things are good if Christ is the centre – no, he has shown me that my time is best served by not leaving “the temple, but [staying] there day and night, worshipping God with fastings and petitions night and day.”
Perhaps you have an infirmity that gives you time but little strength or energy to use it in a physical way; I assure you, whether your thorn is physical, emotional – or even a combination of the two – with Jesus as your centre there will always be plan and purpose for you and your life and your time.
“11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
“The LORD will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.” Psalm 138:8 (NLT)
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2 (NIV)
Even if all we can do is lay in a heap, in silent praise, thanksgiving and awe of God in his temple, is that not better than a thousand lifetimes with health spent alone on Golgotha, “outside the city limits”?
“I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” Psalm 63:2-5 (NIV)
Our relationship with God is not an earthly, physical relationship, but a spiritual relationship filled with agape love, an active love that can be shown through innumerable ways. Physical limitations do not mean you are any less a child of God; your purpose, God’s plan for you, may simply differ. You may have been called to be an Anna (or a Simeon if you are a gent!) of your generation; your faith in God and his Holy Spirit in you can bring forth a bountiful harvest of active love, even if your body fails.
I encourage you to make the most of this time while you are blessed with it; remember, God created you and he understands you perfectly, he loves you with a tender, compassionate, unfailing love and he is always faithful. Ask him for his guidance in using the time you are blessed with today, you may simply hear him whisper to you to “be still and know that [he is] God.” (Psalm 46:10, NIV)