I have come to love this verse because time is such a focus for the incarcerated and their families. We speak of
the time they have been given, gain time, time served, doing time, time left that we will be apart. We speak of the times missed being together for birthdays, anniversaries and funerals. We long for the time they will be home, even if the sentence makes that unlikely.
All of us in the free world speak of time flying, too little time, time crunch, time out, out of time, wanting time, and needing time. For the incarcerated, time is often measured by the Release Date (subject to change pending gain time award, gain time forfeiture, or review.) They are worlds apart in so many ways.
But in this way we face similar challenges, we in the free world and those doing time: All of us have choices about time, to spend it or to blow it.
For the incarcerated most institutions have some programming. So maybe I never wanted to be a hairdresser or work with dogs, but that does not mean it will not be worth knowing. If my basic skills need brushing up before GED classes are viable, I can ask if the opportunity exists to be mentored. There are people incarcerated who have made a lot of choices in their lives and, if I pay respectful attention, I may learn something important. I can attend Bible classes, life-skill classes, parenting classes, AA, Financial Peace to name a few that might be available.
In the free world we can let our schedules, kids' schedules, aging parent's schedules, church schedules, and work schedules drive us, or we can ask God to help us develop a set of values that we can use to spend our time. Just one "no" to something may free us to say "yes" to something more important. Just one time when we realize we are freer than it has felt to decide to do something or not do something can become a gift to ourselves or someone we love rather a burden we are bearing.
So let's all trust God with all our heart about just one new thing today. Let's trust that God has given us enough. Let's consider that when we are trying to put 15 pounds of trouble in a 5 pound bag of hope, we might could repack, share a burden, consider a new perspective, find a new resource and trust we don't have to pretend we can do it on our own.
Dear Eternal God, help me remember that time is a gift from You. Help me trust You about the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years of my life, because You are my God having my times in Your Hand is exactly right! Amen