Scripture

Turning Back Time

Spring forward today, as they say. My family and friends in Arizona know little about this, since my home state stands against the rest of the country and refuses to move their clocks ahead.

Growing up, the only thing I remember about Daylight Savings Time is that some of our favorite TV shows would come on an hour later, shows featured on California stations. Oh, and there was a town in California called El Centro about an hour away from Yuma. We’d travel there sometimes for tennis matches. Whatever time we left would be the time we arrived. Kids think the sun revolves around them, so for me this was baffling. (Sometimes I still think the sun revolves around me.)

I was thinking about time and how we’re subject to its persistence and how God somehow exists outside the realm of time. In fact, he rules over time. I was reading the book of Isaiah and learned how once God turned back time.

Then this message came to Isaiah from the LORD: “Go back to Hezekiah and tell him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. Yes, I will defend this city.’ And this is the sign from the LORD to prove that he will do as he promised: I will cause the sun’s shadow to move ten steps backward on the sundial of Ahaz!’” So the shadow on the sundial moved backward ten steps. —Isaiah 38:4-8 NLT

I’m not sure how much ten steps was (or who Ahaz was). Ten hours? Maybe ten minutes? Whatever the case, God did what only Superman seemed capable of. He stopped the globe spinning, turned it back several degrees, and set it in motion again.

This is the stuff of science fiction. This is what Doc Brown tinkered with that nearly got him killed by terrorists. This is what Cher pined for, to turn back time and take back hurtful words. And this is what we at one time or another wish we could do.

Could God do for us what he did for Hezekiah? Yes, he could, but in all likelihood he won’t. Although, there’s something else he did for Hezekiah that he wants to do for us. He gave Hezekiah fifteen more years. I don’t know how much more time he has for you or me, but I have an idea how he wants us to live it. I’ll post later this week about something I’ve been thinking about for a while, how our past mistakes (and even successes) hinder our present and our future.

Can we turn back time? No, but we can move forward.

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