“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” (Acts 17:24–27, NIV 1984).
“Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13–14).
My Musings – “I wish these times had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened. So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, besides the will of evil. I was meant to see a time such as this. In which case, you also were meant to see it. And that is an encouraging thought.” (Adapted from The Fellowship of the Ring).
It is hard to imagine, whenever we experience difficulties, that there could ever be anything encouraging about it at all. But there are indeed other “forces” at work in this world, besides the will of evil. The difficulties we are experiencing may be the will of the evil one, and God is merely withdrawing His restraining hand. Or maybe it is the hand of His Son as He opens the “seals’ that only He is worthy to open. Whatever the case, it is God that “has determined the times set for [us] and the exact places where [we] should live.” We may wish these times had never come to us, and that none of it had happened, but that is not for us to decide. God has decided that. Why? “So that [we] would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him.” And that is indeed an encouraging thought.
My Advice – We may still wonder why we have lived to see such time. Thinking instead about how things used to be, before all of this. Or maybe looking forward to how things might be after all of this, if there is an after all of this. We must not let our thoughts become consumed by either of these. That would not be all that productive. What we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us now. Unlike the story of Esther, “relief and deliverance for [mankind cannot] arise from another place.” Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through [Him].” (John 14:6, NIV 1984).
If you do not know Him, know that He has brought you to this specific time and place so that you may “reach out for Him and find Him.” It may be hard for you to believe, but another time, and another place, would not be as conducive for you. He “knows that you have come to such a place and time as this,” because He brought you here and now for that exact purpose. The question is, will you reach out to Him and find Him? Perhaps. The decision is yours. The choice is yours. But another place, another time yet to come, may not be yours. “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2, NIV 1984). Read my “The Born Again Experience” musings to know how you can do just that. “He is not far from [you].” All you have to do is “reach out.” He’ll take hold and never let go.