I measure my life by days, moments, and ticks of the clock.
- I was born on June 28, 1959, a sweltering hot Sunday afternoon in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- The moment the Space Shuttle Challenger fell from the sky, I was standing on my office stairwell in Jupiter, Florida.
- When my dad took his last breath, the clock ticked 10:14 a.m.
These are my fence posts. They mark the boundaries of my existence and hold a string of memories. Some days I casually follow them, hand on the rail, feeling the memories as I shuffle along the changing landscape of my mind. And then there are days when, glancing out the window of my speeding life, events are a blurry staccato of missed moments.
Days, moments, and ticks of the clock . . . they define my beginnings and my endings. They unite me with that group of travelers that is forever a slave to Father Time.
God knows no such boundaries for God is eternal.
The eternity of God makes my head spin. I find it easier to wrap my mind around the fact that God is all-powerful, all knowing, and everywhere present. When it comes to what theologians also describe as the self-existence of God, my mind can't keep up. A. W. Tozer writes,
"The human mind, being created, has an understandable uneasiness about the Uncreated."1
To this I say a hearty, "Amen!"
Perplexity grips me, but I must wrestle free and grapple with this heavy thought. The Word of God declares: God is the great I AM, the self-existent one.2 God is the Alpha and the Omega ... who is and who was and who is to come.3 The Psalmist writes:
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
Psalm 90:1-2 ESV
I've been drawing on Wayne Grudem this week. I'll return to him once again. Grudem defines God's eternity as this:
God has no beginning, end, or succession of moments in his own being, and he sees all time equally vividly, yet God sees events in time and acts in time.4
God has no beginning and no ending! How does one respond to that? I suggest, with humility. Charles Spurgeon (at 20) said,
There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is downed in its infinity. . . . When we come to this master-science, finding that our plumb-line cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away . . . and with solemn exclamation, [say] "I am but of yesterday, and know nothing." No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God.5
We live in a world that, unable to contemplate the grandeur of God, dismisses him! A better response? Stand humbly before him and say, "GOD YOU ARE AMAZING!"
To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!
- A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge of The Holy, page 33.
- Exodus 3:14--God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, "I AM has sent me to you." John 8:24--I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins. John 18:5-6--They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
- Revelation 1:8
- Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, page 168.
- Charles Spurgeon, sermon to New Park Street Chapel, Southwark (January 7, 1855), quoted in Knowing God, by J.I. Packer, page 13.