The other night sometime roughly between midnight and one in the morning, I lay awake in bed panicking. The only thing running through my mind was how many papers and tests I had due the next week, and how I would have no time to get it all finished because I was going home for the weekend. What only made my worry worse was that I didn't particularly want to do any of this work because there was so much of it, and I had already procrastinated starting because I was afraid I wouldn't do a good enough job to meet my professors' standards.
The dark made my worries seem insurmountable, paired with being overtired and frustrated that sleep was still evading me as I grieved the precious minutes slipping away, counting down the time until my alarm would go off all too early. When I felt a tear slip out of my eye, I knew it was time to do something instead of laying there being the victim of my racing anxieties.
I sat up in bed and asked my awesome, luckily still-awake roommate (in what I'm sure she thought was a randomly-timed question) if she would pray with me because I was freaking out. We asked for peace, and I laid back down feeling much more peaceful. Like a lullaby, the line from Chris Tomlin's song "How Great is Our God" came to mind, the line that says, "Time is in his hands."
It took me a minute to realize the truth of that line. It's one of those lines I've always sung without actually thinking about what it means. It echoes Psalm 31:15 (NIV) which says, "My times are in your hands." While we worry about not having enough time and try to hold onto it or impatiently wish time wasn't taking so long, God is holding time and holding us, having everything under control. We have to trust him, and be honest with him about our fears, wants and needs.
Maybe our issues with time spring from the fact that we're longing for the timelessness of Heaven. We don't want things to end because we were created to spend never-ending time with our God. Our sense of urgency when it comes to time or our impatience for time to hurry by and get to good things comes from our desire to be with him, goodness himself. We forget that God is holding it all and that he loves us.
In the story of creation in Genesis 1:3-5, the first thing God creates is time. He gives us a way to measure life by giving us separation -- the separation of light and darkness to create day and night. God, the timeless and unified One, knows all the complications it will cause. I think maybe he gave time to us to let us know him and trust him in a deeper way, a way he knew we would struggle with and that we could use to press into him even more deeply.
If that's what he's chosen for us, I want to be grateful.
Mia Pohlman is a Perryville, Mo., native studying at Truman State University. She loves performing, God and the color purple -- not necessarily in that order.