Father Time…Lessons for the New Year

Welcome  We are now in the third week of a new year.  How’s it been going for you?  I feel I am continuing to reap in God’s blessings once again this year.  I love spending time with my family and taking time each day to be creative in some way.  And I continue to enjoy the daily time I spend in God’s word, meditating on its wisdom, direction, and encouragement.  Now that’s a blessing!

Around the New Year holiday, you may hear people talk about “Father Time,” the mythical figure used to personify the continuous passing of time.  A new year enters like a babe and exits as an old man, such as Father Time.  As I began the new year in scripture, I couldn’t help but imagine God as Father Time, although I sometimes wonder if time is irrelevant to God.  Impatience is a distinctly human characteristic.  In my reading, I found four verses pertaining to time and a lesson I wanted to apply to 2019 in each passage.  I would like to share those with you today.

Food For Thought  I want to share the four verses I read and what I took away from each one, hoping to apply the verses to my own life this year.  Today’s verses are taken from the ESV Holy Bible (Crossway Publishers).

Ecclesiastes 8:6  “For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s troubles lie heavy on him.”  My lesson is TRUST.  In the new year I will trust God’s timing and not depend on my own understanding or planning for the time line. God’s timing is perfect and He already knows when the time will be for all things to come to pass.

Galatians 6:9  “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”  My lesson is PERSEVERANCE.  I can’t give up on what God has presented to me because the season will come when I will reap what has been sown.  Due season may be here on earth or it may be in the heavenly kingdom, but either way, it will happen.  As long as I don’t give up.

Ephesians 5:15-16  “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”  My lesson is PURPOSE.  Last year, I went through some time when I struggled with my sense of purpose.  I now realize that making the best use of time may not have anything to do with making money.  There are things that are more important, including the soul care of me and my loved ones.  Doing God’s work looks different for everyone.  You can be making the best use of your time, and so can I, and yet we are working in entirely different fields and directions.  Some of us work outside the home, some of us work from home, some of us work for our church and family, and some split their time between different work bases.  Making the best use of time will look different at different times, too.  Sometimes it looks like resting or leisure.  Sometimes it looks physically demanding and laborious.  Sometimes it looks like sitting and listening with an open heart.  But as time marches on, I must be careful that I am using my time in some way that is beneficial and purposeful.

1 Peter 5:6  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.”  My lesson is PATIENCE.  No more thinking I know better than God!  I will humbly and patiently wait for His timing, knowing it is always better than my own.

Of course, my goal is to apply these four concepts, trust, perseverance, purpose, and patience, to my new year as best I can.  But I also know that I will fall short some days, maybe in just one or two areas, or maybe all four.  But I won’t give up and I know God’s grace and mercy will pick me back up again the next day so I can try again.

I pray for you to have a wonderful, blessed, and faith-filled 2019!

Bible Journaling; Ecc. 3:1-8
Bible Journaling; Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; For everything there is a season.

Today’s Scripture  I shared four scriptures with you today, but I also want to challenge you to a Bible reading.  If you are not already committed to a Bible reading plan, or even just want an extra passage to read today, I would like you to read Ecclesiastes, chapter 3.  Verses one through eight are very well known.  I’ve even discussed them here, before.  But the challenge I offer is this…slow down with the words.  Don’t just go through and recite them from memory.  Contemplate the times for each season.  Think about some times in your life when you shifted from one time to another and how God was with you through them both.  If you keep a Bible study notebook, write down some personal examples from each.  For example, when we’re talking about a time to kill and a time to heal, we’re not talking about people here!  I wrote examples in my notebook from when I had to kill off toxic relationships and when I needed to heal other valuable relationships.  This is a great opportunity to think about the different seasons in your life.

Today’s Recipe  Now that we’re back into the routine of school and work and extra-curricular activities, I am pulling out the slow-cooker more often.  It’s so helpful to have a dinner come together with little prep time and virtually no clean up.  Today’s recipe is a full dinner cooked together in the slow cooker so it really couldn’t be any simpler.  Plus you will come home to a delicious smelling kitchen!

slow cooker chicken dinner
Chicken and vegetables cooked together in one pot with a flavorful onion gravy.

Slow Cooker Chicken Dinner

Ingredients

  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 4 large carrots
  • 3 lbs. chicken legs (about 8 legs)
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 10.75 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • fresh cracked black pepper

Directions

  • Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Slice onion and layer on the bottom of the pot.
  • Peel and wash potatoes and carrots. Cut vegetables in large chunks and add to the pot.
  • Place chicken legs on top of the vegetables.
  • In medium bowl, stir together soup mix, flour, mushroom soup, and chicken broth. Pour over chicken and vegetables.
  • Crack some black pepper over the chicken.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Note: Cooking bone-in chicken all day in the slow cooker will make it so tender and juicy, but it also makes the bones very soft. Please be cautious of any bone fragments that may be present when serving and eating.