Aurelio Capingala writes from Huambo, Angola. He works in Bongo Adventist Secondary School.

Time respects no one and waits for no one. We each count the minutes, hours, or days with anticipation of a delicious event. It comes and passes in a moment flashing into memory, often leaving a vacuum of emptiness. Not one of us knows the allotted quantity of time in life. We only know that each day we possess the same amount. We invest or spend it all.

Time governs every facet of our meager existence. Night and day, rest and activity, weeks and months, summer and winter, years and decades— all mark the cycles of every life.

In this boundary of time, our surrender to the lordship of Christ is tested daily. The test comes in the simple words patience and waiting.

Often the lordship of Christ is tested in the crucible of waiting: waiting for a mate, waiting for maturity, waiting for answers to prayer, waiting to find a job, waiting for a rebellious son or daughter to repent, waiting for health to improve, waiting for relief from pressure, waiting for a conflict to end, waiting for improved finances, waiting for a baby to be conceived, waiting for tomorrow or next week or next year, waiting for suffering to end. Waiting patiently, without ulcers, without anger, with peace, with assurance—knowing only that God will work, but not how or when He will work.

God's list of heroes and heroines is filled with people who waited. King David waited in the cave of Adullam as he fled from Saul. Moses spent forty years in the desert before he returned to lead Israel out of Egypt and another forty years of wandering in the wilderness—and still brought the people only to the border of the Promised Land. Job waited for God as his health and all he held dear disappeared before his eyes. Elizabeth and Zacharias waited until old age to bear the special child, John the Baptist. Paul the apostle waited in prison, hoping for deliverance which never came, while he wrote letters that are now a part of the New Testament, God waited for the "fullness of time" to send Jesus to die for the sins of the world.

Waiting is part of God's plan in many circumstances of life. I remember many times of impatience in waiting. Waiting—for high-school graduation, for college graduation, for my wedding day, for a check to come in the mail, for news of a new job, and for countless events, great and small. As I grew older, I controlled my impatience better. Yet the old feeling lay just below the surface of my mind—and it still does.

Time and patience are intricately related. Patience is waiting on God's timing. Patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Isaiah said: "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31, KJV). Patience, waiting, hope, faith—they weave that unique pattern of a person living under the lordship of Christ.

Of course, often there is no real choice but to wait; God sees to that. How we wait is all important. Some wait with fretting and worry, impatiently counting the hours or days, or anxiously anticipating an expected event. Some wait with stolid resignation, knowing God cannot be hurried, expecting the worst, hoping for the best. They live with a fatalistic view of life, devoid of joy and expectation. Some wait with a deep conviction of faith and a sure sense of God's good plan, joyfully certain that the outcome will bring glory to God.

How do you wait? In waiting you reveal the extent of Christ's lordship in your life. He is Lord of every event, and the timing of every event.

Not all waiting is for an event or a point in time. Some waiting, often the most difficult, is endurance on the midst of hard circumstances. "For you have need of endurance [patience], so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised" (Hebrews 10:36).

Endurance during trials and difficulties expresses faith and patience in a far deeper way than mere waiting for an expected event. Endurance produces character.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect [mature! and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).

In Christ's lordship we wait for trials to end with no assurance that they will. So we endure with joy and confidence that He will supply the strength to endure. "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus" (Hebrews 12:1-2). We wait and endure, knowing our times are in His hands (Psalm 31:5).

There is an appointed time for everything.

And there is a time for every event under


a time to give birth, and a time to die;

a time to tear down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-4).

At all times Christ is Lord.

Aurelio Capingala writes from Huambo, Angola. He works in Bongo Adventist Secondary School.

Aurelio Capingala writes from Huambo, Angola. He works in Bongo Adventist Secondary School.

2003 First Quarter

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