In a Moment
It’s crazy what can change in a moment, isn’t it? An innocent stretch of my thirty-four year old arms can pinch a nerve and leave me flat on my back popping Ibuprofen all day. A slip of my fingers can void all the work I’ve done preparing a meal that now lays sprawled across the kitchen floor. We’ve all experienced these inconvenient moments, but far more threatening ones pepper our lives.
Maybe we’ve listened to the words of a doctor redirect the course of our life in a handful of syllables. Perhaps a moment of distraction while driving shattered a future we believed we were guaranteed. We scroll through our phone and go from peace and confidence to anxious fear in seconds as the news ticker reveals the ominous word: war. The future becomes less tenable. It all happens in a moment.
These moments punctuate our lives. Like gnarled roots they burst from the soil, altering our path forever. A beloved friend—no longer on this earth. A broken relationship. A job lost. A piercing word we wish desperately to take back. One day we live and move with ease, the next marks the beginning of chronic pain.
The sudden onset can leave us terrified. It’s easy to expect life to continue on as it has. If we’re honest, we take for granted the way the Lord sovereignly guides a million details throughout our bodies, relationships, and the entire world that enables our life to “go on like normal.” These climactic moments remind us of the fragility of it all. We are left to ask: If so much can change in a moment, how much more will change in the many moments of our lives?
I’ve spent time bemoaning the moments that seemed to have stolen so much from me. I’ve wrestled through why God couldn’t have just skipped me past them.
Yet as I’ve grown, the more I’ve also come to realize—it’s crazy what can change in a moment.
You see, I’ve cried out to the Lord in my loneliness and a moment later felt the embrace of a new friend.
I’ve felt the ice of self-righteous anger toward my spouse melt in an instant of new realization.
I’ve poured out my desperation in God’s seeming silence to a friend, only to hang up the phone and immediately realize his kindness visited me through that very friend.
I’ve repeated a prayer upon my lips for years, and on a random weekday evening I’ve been shown how God has already been working to answer it.
It all happens in a moment.
After all, it was only in an instant that the women at the tomb turned from grief to joy at the news of the risen Christ (Matt. 28:5-8). It only took a moment for Saul’s blinding to gift him true sight (Acts 9:4-5). And it’s only in a moment that dead men like you and me are born again unto new life (John 5:24).
It’s true there can be much to fear in a moment. Pain, suffering, death, and darkness can come into our lives as fast as the first bite of fruit that ushered them in long ago (Gen. 3:6-7). Yet the Lord who sovereignly upholds every detail of our lives is the same one who in a moment promised redemption from the curse of death (Gen. 3:15).
While Adam brought sin in one awful moment, our loving God promised hope, life, and forgiveness in the next (Rom. 5:12-18). In a moment of agony Christ took the weight of all of death on his own body, and in that glorious moment, he set his children free.
This same God oversees every one of the moments that come into our lives. His loving and careful hand directs each twist and turn for our own good (Rom. 8:28). Our lives do feel fragile. We might witness the shatters of broken hopes and feel the pain of the curse that inhabits our world. Yet the Lord who holds a million different details is also working his redemption. We can count on it. And sometimes, we’ll get to glimpse the recreation of the jagged pieces into something beautiful—all in a moment.
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