In which the pawn of history is the fulcrum of the fullness of time

by Craig on September 5, 2011

There was a fullness of time for the arrival of the Savior, as strands of history converged. Just. Like. This…

There was a fullness of time for the arrival of the Savior, as strands of history converged. Just. Like. This.source: my friend Andrea Dawn @ The Illustrated Word

And we all have our own fullness of time for salvation…
here are the last pieces I can see that created my fullness of time…
the other ones, in order, are here, here, here, here, and here..

•    I began working in a Bally’s fitness center and there were a new group of people wanting me to go to “meetings” and be “saved”. But unlike high school, these people were in the “in” crowd. They were the in crowd. And the fullness of time was just about arrive.
•    There was a guy named Lock, not the bald guy from LOST  but one who asked me the pivotal question – a famous pivotal question – “If you died tomorrow what you go to heaven?” And he didn’t force a prayer, and he gave me a tract, and I went home, found the Bible, and made sure all the verses were there.

Just days later, I prayed…

If what these people say is true…
and if you really are God…
and if what it says in this book is true…
and if you are the God of it…
Then…
if you are
but only if you are…”
then I ask you into my life…
to forgive my sins…
to be my Lord.

And for some reason he honored that doubt filled prayer.

Without one piece of the puzzle would there have been a personal fullness of time? Ten years before the gospel didn’t have a chance. Ten years later I doubt it would have. But who knows? Maybe, by God’s grace, people have multiple fullnesses of time.

But it seems the world only. had. one.

100 years before and there was chaos, 100 years after and there was no Israel. Nestled perfectly in between was a convergence of events that made for the fullness of time – and a Messiah to save the world.

And square in the center of that convergence was Israel…
a mere pawn of world history…
yet the critical fulcrum of the fullness of time.

Israel was a pawn world history, yet the critical fulcrum of the fullness of time.

source

Oh Israel…

For you Assyria meant annihilation…

Babylon meant Exile and the fire of purification….

Greece strengthened your resolve to keep your religion holy…
as the rest of the Mediterranean and Middle East accepted Greek ways…
and Greek language…
the language that would make the gospel easy to spread…
and preserve it precisely…

Oh Israel…

There were brighter days…

and darker ones…

there were your efforts to bring about the Kingdom of God before it’s time…

and when the Kingdom arrived…

an all out effort to thwart it…

which succeeded wildly…

by unwittingly ushering it in.

More tomorrow…

please come back.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora September 5, 2011 at 9:07 am

Craig, thank you for sharing this moment in your life today. You know, it made me stop and think. I’m searching feverishly through my timeline of memories for that exact moment where I “crossed the line” —the moment when I saw my past and all it brought me through in order to bring me. . . . . HERE! In past years, I lived in the present, and sometimes in the miserable results of my past, but I never stopped to see it as a whole, a plan, a purpose, something worked out carefully, miraculously, and lovingly by an all wise, all loving, miracle working God. Maybe it comes with age, or contemplation, or a combination of these with a dash of wisdom thrown in, I don’t know. I only wish it were possible for younger people to “get it.” Most of the time, when you explain this “fullness of time” and how the Lord works all these crazy things together to bring about the “YOU” you are now, they look at you with a screwed up “HUH?” face. Because I have seen it in my own life, I just love hearing about it in the lives of others. You have reinforced my faith today, Craig. Andrea Dawn’s picture above represents your life and the meeting of all those things into one. I kind of see it as all of our pathways, coming from all over the place, and all meeting into the one path that leads up Calvary’s Hill. And there, we are all washed in grace! Awesome thoughts —- how we are all drawn in. Back to that thread attached to us and those little tugs.

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Craig September 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Cora, I imagine experience, and the wisdom of getting older really helps with seeing the hike behind us. But I wish someone had pointed out to me very clearly, the stages of life, and of faith, early on. I think I would’ve listened. But I’m someone who’s very good with steps – here’s step one – step two – step three. I went through most of life “winging” everything. Or maybe I’m just thinking I would’ve listened now – that I’m older – and maybe I would’ve given that person the same “Huh” face. Cora, I heart the way that you read me – the way a person can be said to “write” with depth – you “read” with depth – and I heart that! Thank you – and God bless and keep you my friend.

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Andrea Dawn September 5, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Indulging myself in some ponderings about what happens after the convergance of all those snippets of history that brings one to the point, to Jesus. I see those same lines spreading out from the point only this time each line is an individual life, brought in . . . sent out. Perhaps to become a converging line in another person’s history that leads them to their own “fullness of time”. This has been such a great series, Craig . . . I know it’s not finished yet, but just wanted you to know that I have been blessed.

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Craig September 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm

if I’m reading you right Andrea Dawn, after all of the strands from a person’s hammock converge at the person’s fullness of time – then their darned well better be some strands exiting that point which are strands leading to another people’s fullness is of time. It was my thought upon reading the first few words of your comment – and it turned out to be just what you said. I heart when God’s people think alike!! The endpoint of my hammock should be the beginning of someone else’s. God bless you Andrea Dawn – and thank you for the perfect picture ツ

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Martha Orlando September 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Craig, you have blessed me in so many ways through this series. I “heart” :) your “If” prayer, so full of doubts and uncertainties. I, too, was a doubter for a long time in many arenas even after becoming a Christian, but I look back and see God loving me and leading me ever closer to Him, bringing me at last, this year, to my fullness of time, where I breathed that huge sigh of relief, the last shred of doubt floating away with it, and snuggled up to the Lord, completely trusting. Wow, what a journey!

God bless you in all things, my friend. Thank you for sharing your moving and beautiful writing with us!

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Cora September 5, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Martha, I loved the IF prayer, too. I know I was a doubter, but never in my wildest dreams years ago as a teenager did I think it was allowed to be expressed in a prayer. My understanding back then was that doubt was a sin. Who wanted to be a “doubting Thomas?” I stuffed all my doubts in a dark closet for a long time. As those doubts came to the surface and I worked through those and found certainty and firm foundations, I was more willing to look at the remaining doubts with more confidence to work through them. I sure wish I could go back and do this whole spiritual life over again. Too bad we don’t get “do-overs.”

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Craig September 5, 2011 at 1:51 pm

And Cora – get in line for those “do over” requests – it’s a long one – and no butting!! ツ (but if you happen to be in a spot ahead of me – let me in okay? ツ)

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Craig September 5, 2011 at 1:50 pm

and now I learn something else – maybe there are fullness is of time for more than just “salvation”. There is that point when God allows us in, under the cover of grace, even though we doubt. But, Martha, you bring up another one – that moment when you know that you know that you know. I went through seminary doubting the existence of God! I was saved even though I doubted – it wasn’t until about six years ago that the last of my – must’ve been – thousands of doubts were all confronted, and defeated, and I was able to say – it makes absolutely no sense to NOT believe. I know exactly – EXACTLY how you feel my friend. Thank you Martha, really, a BIG thank you. And God bless you.

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Cora September 5, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I feel like I keep butting in here (and you said no butting in line!), but what you said here means so much to me, Craig. One of my . . . . is it a doubt, or just a squeaky door. . . . . has been just what you mentioned here — does God allow us in, under the cover of grace, with all our doubts, and then deal with the other “doubts” later? This creaks in the background sometimes for me (or should I say, kicks like a horse!), as I was told once that if there was not a completely changed life that totally transformed and moves in that “upward” direction from that moment on, then I was NOT saved back then. In my heart, the place that you know that you know that you know, I know that I was saved at that certain point —- doubts and all. In fact, I probably had more doubts AFTER the fact, as at that time, I didn’t know there was more stuff to doubt until I learned about it. Does that make sense? It has only been the things that I have doubted, confronted, thrown in God’s face, and worked through that have become my sure foundations. So I’m not sorry that I doubted. Oh, this is becoming very, very, confusing!!!!

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Craig September 5, 2011 at 8:27 pm

This reepli iz frum laska th luv kitee – I tipe this wunse an copee to all peepulz. tuday I have bad thing hapin – heer I make these tweets abowt bad thing – “waspz is bad toy – I play an he maykz hurtingz for paw” and “I am sad – paw iz big” an “kreg needz spending all tyms tu help mee – I wil blog abowt bad toy tumorow – u must reed – I wil tipe with wun pawz ownlee”

kreg iz to help mee now – nex tym he tipez tu u – soree but he must tayk kayre uv luv kitee tuday

luv, laska th luv kitee

ps – kreg wil ansr tumorrow for u kwesdhun

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Craig September 5, 2011 at 8:28 pm

he sez short ansur iz – hee isz proof – so yes

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Cora September 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm

poor, poor laska!!!! U R rite –thoze wazpz R horubbible toiz! theeze byt! eye’m so happee U haf Craig 2 tayk cayre ov U. Eye weel prayee that U hav a comfy nite. And yez, Craig isz proof! Buster sens luv!

A. September 6, 2011 at 8:09 am

Craig, the thing I like about the hammock and what you shared is that to me, they converge to tell me that we can rest in Him and His ability to bring us to convergence in our life and then as part of the picture in the lives of others…that is, we don’t have to strive or worry in the negative senses of those words. So, I kind of heart that hammock pic in that way, too, with your message.

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Craig September 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm

and we have Andrea Dawn to think for the hammock shot – it’s brilliant – it’s perfect. Thank you A – and God bless you!

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Hillcrest Cottage September 6, 2011 at 8:36 am

I love how you made the “fullness of time” become so personal for you. As Christians, we all have our “fullness of time” moment. I certainly had mine!

On the flip-side, a sad story is how my husband had a “fullness of time” experience with his own brother… who was so very close to making a decision to trust Christ for salvation… but did not… said he needed to think about it more. I am not saying he never will trust Christ in the future, but it was so obvious that once he rejected that very full moment… his heart became so very, very hardened to ever listening again. Sad.

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Craig September 6, 2011 at 12:39 pm

I always have to remind myself – because I can get so lost in translations, and history, and just learning and stuffing knowledge in my head – that if knowledge of the Bible, and of God, doesn’t reach the heart – it’s only half good. Everything in the Bible needs to be personal. Should I ever forget that please remind me! And I understand how you feel about your husband’s brother – my brothers and sister are so close to the kingdom – but I fear that they are not in yet. But they know where to find answers – and they know the gospel – I shared – and that’s all we can do isn’t it? Still, it’s sad – and I get it! God bless and keep you – and thank you.

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