Time doesn’t stand still, though at times it feels as if it does. The days of sadness and mourning seem long, maybe even frozen. I guess when we’re in shock, our senses are altered. We expect the whole world should suddenly break from the norm, the sun should stand still, the birds should stop singing, no one should move. Everyone should pause and acknowledge the impact we feel; acknowledge that life is altered forever. But it doesn’t happen. The same day that brings profound loss, is the same day a baby is born. In one circle of space there is anguish and heartache, and in the other space, just yards away, jubilant celebration. It seems cruel at first glance.
I learned on Sunday that there are two Greek words in scripture referring to time. One is “chronos”, referring to chronological time or sequence of events. The other is “Kairos”, meaning “the appointed time in the purpose of God”, the time when God acts…
Mark 1:14-15 “the time” (is fulfilled)
Luke 12:54-56 “the present time”
Luke 19:44 “the time” (of your visitation from God)
Romans 13:11-13 “the time . . . the moment”
11 Corinthians 6:1-2 “the acceptable time”
Kairos differs from the more usual word for time which is chronos. Kairos is a moment of undetermined period of time in which something unique and special happens. I have pondered these two words and their uniqueness. Chronos time was created for us. Much like a vehicle, allowing us to navigate in this earthly realm, it is the currency of earth, the predictable cycle of night and day, seasons and seconds. But in truth, the more coveted God-given gift that we should all anticipate is kairos time; this divine appointment-the time that transcends the defined time of man. I don’t necessarily think we can navigate, manipulate or orchestrate this, but I do believe God does. He acts. He pursues. He seems to prepare our heart for HIS coming-prepares us for kairos moments. He sends messengers-sometimes people, sometimes circumstances. Just like Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and Zachariah, who were given messages by the angels, God sets us up for His entrance in our life.
This leads me back to the two circles of space on the day where one is mourning and one is rejoicing. Both are in chronos time, the day to day chronological time-frame we live here on earth. But I’m thinking on the Kairos moments, and consider that both events could also include kairos-God in action. Not just on those beautiful bright days when a baby is born, but in moments of pain, weakness and trembling are we confronted. What seems to be a shocking, life-altering, never forgotten chronos moment becomes a door where the God that created time enters our space. THAT is eternity altering! This transcends chronos moments and elevates us to a dimension beyond earthly grasp, beyond comprehension, to a place where grace is the air we breathe and the currency we use.