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Delighting in the Passage of Time

How to think biblically about change

by Andy Davis on February 08, 2022

The unchanging God can help you with change.
“Our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” - Romans 13:11


There are many opportunities to mark the passage of time throughout the year. Of course, New Year’s Day is one clear way that people note how quickly time is flying by. I remember distinctly staying up to watch the year 2000 come in, not fearing the “Y2K” bug at all, but interested in the changing of the Millennium. That was over twenty-two years ago!

Winters come and go. Spring and early summer are consistently times when people mark the passage of time with significant family occurrences, especially graduations and weddings. It is joyful and painful at the same time for parents to see their little ones (or at least, what used to be their little ones) pass such significant milestones. They complete their high school education and many prepare to live away from home for the first time in their lives as they go off to college. They complete college and perhaps move to another state to begin their careers. They walk the aisle and say “I do” and begin their own families, formally and biblically ending the time of direct parental authority: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). The time of a father giving away his daughter to become another man’s wife is especially emotional and can be very sad. The passage of time can be a melancholy topic. This is especially true for aging people, who see their physical capacities diminishing with each passing year. They remember distinctly when they were able to play certain sports, or go for long walks, or garden without pain in their back. But time’s passage has taken these pleasures from them.

But for Christians, there is every good reason for delighting in the passage of time. Every day gone brings us closer and closer to the goal of our faith, the final salvation of our souls. Every hour gone brings us closer to seeing Christ face to face. The Scripture above gives a sense of expectancy toward Christ, a sense of joy in the passing of time. Yes, it is couched in Romans 13 with a clear call toward personal holiness in light of the coming assessment on Judgment Day, but it is still so joyfully optimistic: our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 

"Every hour gone brings us closer to seeing Christ face to face."

When you are facing the sadness and melancholy of worldly reflections on the passage of time, reflect instead that we are merely “aliens and strangers” here, moving through a corridor where we do not intend to set up permanent residence. When you see your children develop, mature and leave home, delight that you have finished the stewardship entrusted to you. Let it remind you of your own “graduation ceremony” when you will be welcomed into heavenly habitations. When you see your son or daughter walk the aisle on their wedding day, let it remind you of that great Wedding Banquet of the Lamb that you will partake in as a member of the Church, the Bride of Christ. When you see the passage of time rob you of capacities because of aging, let it remind you that every moment brings you closer to inheritance of that glorious resurrection body that will be raised in power with no more death or mourning or crying or pain.

Tags: running the race