If you have children or are in any way involved in education, you know that August means the start of a New Year (at least in the South, where we head back to school before Labor Day).
The beginning of a new school year means lots of new things–clothes, school supplies, teachers, schedules,and bus routes, for example. Then there is always the kids’ excitement about seeing who will be in their classes. Who will potentially be their new friends?
There is something about us humans that is always keenly aware of time. We carry day-planners around and enter notifications and reminders in our phones. Daily, we set our alarm clocks to wake up, and we have a pretty good idea of meal times and how long it will take us to get from one place to another when we commute.
With all of this scheduling and monitoring, we should be masters of time. Amazingly, quite the opposite continues to be true!
I’m reminded of Pharaoh during the time of the plagues in Egypt.
The second plague to come upon the land was frogs. They were everywhere! Imagine for a moment how the Bible describes them. There were “…abundant frogs in the houses, the bedrooms, on the beds, in the ovens, in the kitchen bowls, and on all the people”. You can believe that whenever the word ‘abundant’ is used with ‘frogs’, it’s never a good thing!
Pharaoh, who was considered a god to his people, found himself in the awkward position of having to negotiate with Moses,God’s messenger. He actually sent for him to come because the frogs were such a disgusting nuisance. Pharaoh asks Moses to pray for the Lord God to get rid of the frogs, and the Bible records their conversation:
Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Ask the Lord to remove the frogs from me and my people. I will let the people go to offer sacrifices to the Lord.” Moses said to Pharaoh, “I will pray for you, your people, and your officials. Then the frogs will leave you and your houses. They will remain only in the river. When do you want the frogs to go away?” Pharaoh said, “Tomorrow.” (Ex. 8:8-10)
TOMORROW???? Pharaoh was given the option to decide when the frogs would disappear, and he chose to let them hop around Egypt for one more day.
We can laugh at old Pharaoh and wonder what in the world he was thinking, but truthfully, we could learn a lot from him in this situation.
Pharaoh, like many of us, just could not believe that God is the God of NOW! In our human condition we feel the weight of time. We are so aware of how the clock ticks incessantly, and how much we are governed by the minutes and hours that make up the days, weeks, and years of our lives.
Our God created time. He is not governed by time. He is Lord over time and exists completely apart from it. He gave us the sun and the moon to regulate times and seasons on Earth because this is the place of our residence and dominion. He,however, dwells in a kingdom where there is no sun to mark time. His own glory lights up His realm (Rev. 21:23).
New beginnings in God’s kingdom have nothing to do with a calendar. The Lord proved as much when He rearranged Israel’s year to begin at the time of their deliverance from Egypt (Exodus 12:2). We often feel that we need the permission of the clock or calendar to make new decisions or better choices. We put off our freedom until our next birthday, the New Year, the start of a new semester, or when some major event takes place. Why? Let’s learn from Pharaoh how ridiculous it is to postpone deliverance for one more day.
What can you do today?
- Say a prayer of repentance
- Check your account balances
- Make a phone call you’ve been avoiding
- Start using your planner
- Do some jumping jacks and sit-ups
- Eat more vegetables instead of bread for lunch and dinner
Don’t let the “frogs” win. Make a decision and a declaration that will send them back to the river where they belong.
Here is a great song to play over and over again to encourage you to start over in some needed areas of your life. You can have a new beginning whenever you want–Just say when.