Theme of the Week: Stewarding Time
Bible Verse: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life.” 2 Kings 20:5-6
Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 20:1-6
In the book The Hobbit, the titular hero, Bilbo, is given a riddle by the villain, Gollum:
This thing all things devours; br>
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers; br>
Gnaws iron, bites steel; br>
Grinds hard stones to meal; br>
Slays king, ruins town; br>
And beats mountain down.
Do you know the answer? Since the devotionals this week are about stewarding time, yes, the answer is time.
Time is relentless. As the riddle suggests, it claims the lives of creatures, great and small, and wears down buildings and mountains.
Time came for King Hezekiah of the Bible, who was considered a good king, as opposed to many bad ones in the nation’s history. He tried to do what was right and followed the Lord overall. Notwithstanding, at the beginning of 2 Kings 20, we find him ill and at the point of death. Isaiah prophesied to him: “This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover” (v. 1). The king prayed and asked the Lord to remember him and his good deeds, and then he wept bitterly (vv. 2-3).
I remember reading this passage for the first time decades ago, and I thought, “Too bad. He’s a good man and sad that he will die.” Then to my amazement, as today’s verses state, God told Hezekiah through Isaiah that He had heard his prayers and seen his tears and would extend his life by 15 more years! I remember thinking back then that though I wasn’t a king, nor would I ever be, I would try that prayer on my deathbed!
Though time waits for no one, we must make do with the time that we do have. King Hezekiah received 15 more years than he thought he would have. Who knows, maybe you remember some close calls when you almost died? We’ve all heard stories in the news of people who missed a flight that eventually crashed, and it made them appreciate their lives. We’ve heard accounts of people wrongfully imprisoned for years for a crime they didn’t commit. When the truth is found out and they’re released, we feel bad for them. Talk about years that they won’t get back!
Appreciate your time. Spend it well. Have no regrets. It’s not a renewable resource. Yes, if you wake up tomorrow, you’ll get another day, but the past one is gone.
French psychologist Alfred Binet once wrote something that is acceptable for everyone to follow, Christian or otherwise, “Don’t count every hour in the day. Make every hour in the day count.”
I’m sure Hezekiah appreciated the extra 15 years God afforded him. But really, we don’t need a near-death experience to recognize the gift that is time, do we? Thank you for spending your valuable time reading this devotional; now go and live your life for God!
Prayer: Lord, thank You for what You allow me to experience each day. Help me to live each day with no regrets when I go to bed at night.
Reflection: If time is truly a gift, what are you thankful to God for in the past 24 hours of your life? If all goes well, what are you looking forward to in the next 24 hours?
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