The Time Appointed
“Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.”
One of the greatest lessons my parents taught me when I was a boy was to wait until the right time to enjoy every season of life. When I was eleven and twelve years of age, I watched my siblings go on youth activities that I wanted so badly to enjoy. I remember asking my parents if I could go with them, and they responded that I couldn’t go until I was a teenager. I remember in particular one time when several of the older teenage girls tried to get my parents to allow me to come, but they refused to bow to the desires of these older teenage girls because they knew that my “appointed time” had not yet come.
The verse above teaches this very important principle about waiting until the right time. God says that there is no difference between a servant and the heir who is a child because the child had not yet reached his appointed time. Though the child was the heir to his father’s possessions and position, he had to wait and learn from his place in life until his appointed time came. In these verses are several lessons that will help everyone to follow this important principle of waiting until their appointed time.
First, every stage of life has its lessons and pleasures. The son who was the heir had lessons he could learn while he was a child, but he didn’t have the pressures of making decisions that his father had to make daily. Each stage of life has its own pleasures that are unique to that time of life. You will miss life’s fulfillment if you don’t enjoy each stage of life.
Second, don’t rush into your appointed time and miss the lessons and pleasures of the present. The teenager must stop trying to jump into the adult years and just enjoy being a teenager. Many dating couples have rushed a relationship and committed fornication because they wanted to be intimate with each other, which God only intended for married couples. My friend, every stage of life is important to go through. Jumping over stages of life causes you to miss important lessons and pleasures that God has for each stage. You may want what the next stage of life may have, but you never fall for Satan’s trap of partaking something from the next stage of life and missing the value of the present stage.
Third, don’t run from your present stage to try and relive a previous stage. Many older people make this mistake because they don’t want to admit that they are older. Trying to relive a previous stage of life is only going to cause you to miss the blessings of the present stage. It is just as wrong to try and relive the past as it is to jump ahead of the present stage to enjoy the next stage’s pleasures just because you are not content with the stage of life in which you presently live.
There are two keys to enjoying each stage of life. The first key is patience. I know that patience is hard for many people, but you must be patient so that you can learn valuable lessons that God has for you in your present stage.
The second key to enjoying each stage of life is contentment. My friend, the next stage of life will come, but you must be content with the stage of life in which you are living. You will miss the blessings and lessons of the present stage of life if you allow discontent to compel you to jump to the next stage. Be content, and learn and enjoy what God has for you in your present stage.