Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV
Psalm 46:5 ESV
Psalm 46:4 ESV
Revelation 1:8 ESV
I believe there is a time for everything and God being in the midst of us means we look to God and wait for His perfect timing.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
I believe Solomon was correct when he wrote Ecclesiastes 3 but I still struggle to wait for God’s timing.
I’m terrible at waiting.
I blame that partly on being an American. When I studied Communication and Culture in college we learned that various cultures view time differently.
Americans have a linear view of time. Time equates to money. In America, everything moves at lightening speed. “Americans are people of action; they cannot bear to be idle” (https://www.businessinsider.com/how-different-cultures-understand-time-2014-5).
When I have to wait for something I’m not being action-oriented so I am wasting time. I was taught not to waste time.
Compare that to the culture in the East. Decisions are not thought of as being linear. They are cyclical. Asians see time as “coming around again in a circle, where the same opportunities, risks and dangers will re-present themselves when people are so many days, weeks or months wiser” (see reference above).
In Eastern thought, circling around a decision many times is never a waste of time.
Contemplating the decision over and over again makes you wiser.
In many cultures with God and contemplating a concept is wise. To an American that’s counter cultural.
It requires practice.
Psalm 46:5 says, “God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.”
This psalm was one written by the sons of Korah who were Levites. We need to bear in mind in the ancient near East culture was very very different from the modern American culture.
We know from Psalm 46:4, “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.”
There is a river giving eternal water in the city inhabited by the Most High God. God is in the midst of the city. She will not be moved because God is in the midst. God is in every dawn forevermore.
Do you see the cyclical motion?
Do you see the difference?
For Psalm 46:4 an American would say: There is a River. It has streams. God is there.
For Psalm 46:5 someone from an Eastern culture would say: God is in the midst of everything there. Everything will be stable there because God is there. God will be there when the morning dawns.
What I noticed most when I looked at those scripture verses from a linear perspective is that it loses something.
The poetry is missing.
The mystery is somehow gone.
Looking at it from a human perspective means we see time as being finite.
But really time is infinite. God’s timing is infinitely eternal. There is no beginning and no end.
Perpetually, God exists in time. God always was, is, and is to come.
We learn from Revelation 1:8, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
As difficult as it can be for Western culture folk, it IS…God is, God was, God is to come.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Sit with Psalm 46:5
Get a sense of the poetry of God being in the midst of the Holy City forever. Feel eternity.
In God, Deborah