For at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly.
I don't think we have to be familiar with Christ's story for long to realize the path of death Jesus followed was a gruesome one. Jesus, being both man and God, knew what His fate would be…the hill He would climb, the cross He would bear. He knew the time in which He lived and the culture into which He was born would be one of the most torturous eras in human history. Just look at the concept of the gladiator...a fight to the death for entertainment. No thanks. I can barely keep my eyes open for the funniest home videos where people bite the dust. Yet scripture is full of crazy verses like Romans 5:6 "...at the right time Christ died for the ungodly." Jesus was fully aware, eyes wide open. I don't know about you, but if I were the creator of creation, the author and manipulator of time…I would not have chosen the first century Roman Empire to be the right time for me to plan my death. I would have chosen to be born in a "kinder climate" where the fight for human rights was already under way; a time when being humane was more highly regarded.
So when I read these verses, they reverberated in my own life and the circumstances of those around me. I think to many of us "just the right time" means…just before it gets uncomfortable…just before it inconveniences me…just before it costs me something. Pastor Matthew has hit on this fact before, that in our humanity, it only makes sense for us to want to avoid pain. But that's not the way of the cross, not the way of Jesus...and so naturally, it isn't meant to be the way of His followers. And yet we still fight for it. Maybe you're like me and can't count on two hands how many times "just the right time" in my life has been painful...and then birthed something beautiful. I believe that's where "our faith doesn't disappoint" (Romans 5:5). To have the mind of Christ, to believe in and lean on the Father's capableness, is to find our hope in what will be birthed from our pain, our discomfort, our cross...and to stop trying to avoid it at all cost.
And so today, let's look at our lives and our circumstances, and see if there are any areas where we are expending our energy in an attempt to skirt the uncomfortable, the potentially painful. Let’s ask God if He may be stamping these areas as "just the right time" and lean on Him to make us strong and courageous.