God Created Night and Day with the Exact Hours We Need to Accomplish His Plans
It’s amazing just how quickly an entire month can fill up. Summer is full of sports, vacations, barbecues, and projects left for the less-structured months. Those busy days (that were supposed to be more relaxed) are quickly followed by the back-to-school rush, Friday night lights, and fall activities—all while the days become shorter. In the winter, we're bombarded by shopping, secret Santas, parties, programs, baking, wrapping . . . all the holiday things. Finally, spring comes, the end-of-school chaos sets in, and we long for the lazy days of summer. But before we know it summer has disappeared again. It’s an endless cycle of busy.
We can so easily get caught up in the “there’s just not enough time in the day” mentality. I’m guilty. I’ve said that exact phrase. Each season brings with it an intense sense of pressure to do all the things before we run out of time.
So how do we combat that pressure? How do we fight the struggles that come with a packed schedule?
We shift from focusing on the limits of time to the precision with which God designed it.
Do you remember learning about creation for the very first time? Even as an adult, reading the story in my kid’s picture Bible, I am in awe of God’s power. From nothing, He created everything—including time.
With great intention, He put exactly 24 hours in a day and determined the number that would be spent in sunshine and moonlight.
“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day” (Genesis 1:3-5). On that very first day, God created the exact number of hours His children would need every day for the rest of the earth’s existence.
When we fall into the “there’s just not enough time in the day” mentality, we are questioning God’s design. We are challenging His decision to provide us with 24 hours in which to accomplish the tasks of the day.
And those tasks? Well, maybe they’re part of the problem, too. Maybe, like me, you begin each day by reviewing your list of what needs to be done. Our lists are so full we begin wondering how we will finish it all. Before the day even begins, we are overwhelmed. Then at the end of the day, unchecked items leave us feeling unproductive and unsuccessful.
So how do we combat the feelings of failure when we can’t seem to get it all done?
We shift our focus from what we plan to get done to what God’s purposes are for the day.
Listening to a teaching by writer Katy McCown, I was struck by her words, “God, I expect there is enough time in this day to accomplish Your purposes for this day.” My priorities for the day determine my list for the day, but that list may not reflect what the Lord has designed.
When we find ourselves in the “there’s just not enough time in the day” mentality, we must ask ourselves: Enough time for what? Our work or God’s?
Consider Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Though we make our lists and plans, sometimes, the Lord has a different purpose.
Maybe you spend 30 minutes texting a friend who needed encouragement—God added to your list.
Maybe your son came home from school with a “family project,” so you spend an hour printing images, cutting, gluing, taping, and laughing —God added to your list.
Or maybe you fall asleep lying next to your toddler as she drifted off to sleep, not realizing how desperately you needed that 20-minute nap—God added to your list.
So, here’s a challenge to you this season, and in all seasons: Before your day begins, give it to the Lord and expect there is enough time in the day to accomplish His purposes.
Give the hours He has given you back to Him.
Ask Him to reveal His priorities. If you’re a list person like me, add the unexpected tasks the Lord placed in your day and check them off.
Instead of getting discouraged by all the things left undone, let’s be encouraged that God has chosen to add to our list. Let’s be encouraged that we have been given another day to fulfill the purposes He designed for us. Let’s be encouraged that the Creator of night and day has given us just the right number of minutes to accomplish all that He has planned for us.
Forgive me for doubting Your design and feeling like there is not enough time. In the days You’ve given me, help me focus on Your purposes. Thank You for giving me the chance to serve You daily. Open my eyes to what You have planned for me each day and open my heart to accepting Your tasks. Help me give each day to You and listen for the leading of the Holy Spirit.
In Your will, through Your power, and for Your glory,
Originally published December 2018