The Scarcity of Time

“In vain you rise early and stay up late toiling for food to eat–for He grants sleep to those He loves.”

I’ve often taken comfort in this verse from the Psalms, especially when I am extremely busy and extremely tired. Right now seems to be one of those seasons in life, when the responsibilities of parenting, working, and transitioning from one station in life to another seem to pile upon each other. Eva and I don’t expect always to feel this busy, but now it seems that even a 36-hour day might not even cut it to get it all done. And 8 hours of sleep, or often 6 is, well, a dream.

But this verse seems to me to speak more about “time” and how we use it than about “sleep”. It speaks about how we spend our time–our priorities. This verse would sit nicely next to “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.” One of those thingsI would hope, is sleep.

Right now, it just seems like there is just too much to get done as we prepare to go to Africa. We have a long list of things we’d like to get done and other things we need to get done. But God is gracious. He knows that. He knows what we need, and when we keep our eyes focused on Him, we will see what really needs to get done and when. And he will grant us the sleep (and with it, the time and energy) that is required.

With respect to financial stewardship, the “principle of multiplication” states that the more we give to God, the more he multiplies it back to us so we can give more. We see it in the loaves and fishes and countless testimonies of individual Christians. I’ve often wondered if the same is not true of the stewardship of our time. Of course, as with our money, it all belongs to Him anyway, but would it be too far out to speak of tithing our time? Could we expect him to multiply time back to us as we devote a good portion of it to Him a day? Perhaps the net result of consecrating a set portion of the day to God would be that we become re-centered in God. That would cause us not only to reevaluate how we are spending our time, but also lead us into a more conversational relationship with God. It would help us see “that which is not eternal is eternally useless.”

With respect to giving God my time, I hear Him saying to me, “Test me in this, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing [time] on you that you will not have room enough for it.” Yes, please.