I was in the health & beauty section of a store recently, staring at all the shelves filled with anti-aging creams and high-energy products. We are obsessed with slowing down the aging effects of time on our bodies or speeding up our productivity. Everything we do is connected to time: past, present, or future.
A.W. Tozer writes that, unlike people, God is “above” time. He has no past or future; he dwells “in an everlasting now.” This reality comforts me as I grow older in this fast-paced culture.
Tozer explains that “God didn’t begin to be — God was. God didn’t start from somewhere — God just is.” Time is a creature word because all creatures began to be. “But there was never a time when God was not! No one said, ‘Let God be’! Otherwise, the one who said ‘Let God be’ would have to be God.” Time cannot apply to God. He can’t have yesterdays and tomorrows because they are both time and he has already lived tomorrow. According to Tozer, the fact that God dwells in eternity can explain why the prophets who were anointed with the Spirit of God could foretell the future with extreme precision.
God is immortal but we, as God’s creations, are mortal beings. We grow old and wrinkle and die, but he has placed eternity in our hearts. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV). And because of this need for immortality, we cannot ever find satisfaction on this earth knowing that our lives are limited.
But thankfully, we can be satisfied in God through Jesus who can fill the longing for eternity in our hearts. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 NIV). Tozer emphatically writes that “immortality and eternity you’ll only find in God — and you’ll only find God through Jesus Christ the Lord.”
So, as time marches on, how should we approach each day or look to the future? Should we rely on chemicals to stop the aging process, or move at break-neck speed through every day?
We need to live fully, peacefully, in each moment, knowing that God has already lived our today and our tomorrow and believing that faith in Jesus secures us a place in eternity with him. As nurses, we know that life is fragile, suffering can seem unending, and death is a sure thing. But as nurses who know Jesus, we can extend God’s peace to others and share with them that God desires for all to live eternally with him. He has made a way for all of us to join him in eternity if we will only acknowledge our deep need for him and for the forgiveness that only faith in Jesus can bring.
The Psalmist wrote, “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Psalm 90:2 NIV). Eternity is for real! Hallelujah!
–by Jane Hall, NCF National Director
All quotes from: A.W. Tozer, The Attributes of God, Volume 2
This is the thirteenth post in a series by NCF Director Jane Hall on God’s attributes. She is inspired by the writings of A.W. Tozer in The Attributes of God, Volume 2