“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,and before you were born I consecrated you ….” (Jeremiah 1:5)
Many of us have little interest in history. The ancient dates, places, and names all seem so far removed and so irrelevant to right now. So, when it comes to Scripture we have already been lulled into historical apathy. But the Bible drives home time and time again that our lives are merely pinpoints in a grand drama.
Before our parents … before the web … before this nation … before the Reformation … before the barbarian hordes … before the ancient Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians … before bronze ages, iron ages, and old ages … was God. He was, is, and will be.
As Eugene Peterson (Run With Horses: 38) writes:
“This realization has a practical result: no longer do we run here and there, panicked and anxious, searching for the answers to life. Our lives are not puzzles to be figured out. Rather, we come to God, who knows us and reveals to us the truth of our lives. The fundamental mistake is to begin with ourselves and not God. God is the center from which all life develops. If we use our ego as the center from which to plot the geometry of our lives, we will live eccentrically.”
“All wise reflection corroborates Scripture here. We enter a world we didn’t create. We grow into a life already provided for us. We arrive in a complex of relationships with other wills and destinies that are already in full operation before we are introduced. If we are going to live appropriately, we must be aware that we are living in the middle of a story that has begun and will be concluded by another. And this other is God.”
It’s so easy to conclude that God’s task is to join us in our story. Consequently, we fail to realize that we belong instead to His story. We expect His attention while granting Him little of our own. We invite Him to fit our expectations rather than search out His leading. And in the process, life seems less than abundant.
Let’s not begin with ourselves, our circumstances, needs, desires, and, dreams. Today, let’s start with Him.
Before. Perhaps the word calls us to new levels of trust, confidence, faith, and surrender.
David Timmis, In HOPE 10.12
"Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM." (John 8:58; NASB)
“All things have been created through Christ and for Christ. He is before all things, and through Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17)