Time: Time is a blessing that some do not receive and yet others are blessed amply with it. My own parents are now 90 years old and have been much blessed with time. When they were little, the world was in a great depression. If we could transport ourselves back to that time, we would be able to feel how people felt then. We would see through our own eyes that the grownups then did not know how long that terrible time would last. The only thing that they could do was to live through it and persevere. It took faith to make it through those days. It took faith for that generation to help those who were even less fortunate than they. It took faith for them to know that even if they gave away some of what little they had, things would work out. Many of that generation took huge steps of faith to make it through those days. They sent children off to live with relatives hoping that one day they would be able to bring them home. They continued living their lives, keeping hope as a candle alive and brightly lit in their hearts.
From that period of time, we pass on to the days when that generation was finishing high school and the world was plunging headlong into a world war. For young people, the future is everything and yet as young people that generation did not know if they even had a future. What kind of world would practice murder on such a grand scale? Would all of their loved ones survive such a massive war? Again, if we could transport ourselves back into that time, we would know that at that time, there were no answers available. There was no way of knowing the future. There was only hope and again, faith. It took faith for them to carry on with their lives, to marry knowing that their young husband would soon leave to fight a war on another continent. It took faith to hang on during those long years of separation. Finally, the war ended, loved ones returned and hope was fulfilled, but not for all. Somehow the world carried on and the post war years seemed like a happy respite from trouble, although even then, nothing came easily. Faith continued to sustain the people of that era as they navigated their way through the tumultuous years of the sixties.
Through the years, nothing has ever been certain, nothing one hundred percent guaranteed. However, faith carried many of that generation through and brought them to a lovely green pasture with a beautiful view of all of the fruits of their labor. That is the blessing of time. A person is allowed the pleasure of seeing his or her life dreams fulfilled and the hardships of life resolved. Children grow up and encounter their own troubles in life. Parents look on and hold on to their faith. As time passes, situations work out somehow and you can see the marvelous hand of God and stand back in awe at what He has done. Grandchildren arrive, even great grandchildren, and so the cycle continues, each generation needing to find their own measure of faith to hold them through troublesome times. It is an outstanding blessing to live long enough to see new generations find their way, enter into constructive careers, begin happy marriages and take the first steps into their paths of life. Yes, time is a blessing. What a blessing at the end of a life to see life’s troubles resolved and multitudes of difficult situations resolve themselves in happy endings.
We all love stories with happy endings and faith will carry you through until you can see it with your own eyes. However, even in the Scriptures, not everyone is given the blessing of seeing the end of a matter. Many a servant of God could only maintain his or her faith through until the end of their part of the grand picture, leaving this world in faith, hoping that the eternal purpose would one day be fulfilled. Sometimes we feel as though we are in the midst of Psalm 23. “Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death …” Yes, surely we have all felt that way a time or two as we walk along this road. Faith continues on with the second half of that verse: “I will fear no evil.” It takes faith to continue walking and fearing nothing. The lives of faithful servants offer hope to new generations of young people, that though their times of trial are just beginning, if they just continue on in faith as the previous generation has done, they too will come to the day when they will see the fruits of their labor and see the resolution of their life’s trials. Living examples of faith from the past are an inspiration to us and offer us a very real hope. The cycle continues and we become those living examples, passing on the faith from generation to generation.