“Time is money.”
This first time I heard this phrase—probably in my Introduction to Business class in college—I had no earthly idea what it meant. And, even though I’m sure that I learned from my textbook and my professor what “time is money” meant, as an actual businessman, I have certainly become more familiar, in these intervening years, with what it really means.
During the years of owning my own publishing business, there were several times when we entertained the possibility of being purchased by larger companies. One of these times, I had disclosed my financial statements and was waiting for a response. I desperately needed the cash that this acquisition would represent and the buyer knew it. So he took his time and I sweated it out. The more I sweated, the more he could negotiate on price. Time was money.
Several years ago, a huge shopping mall got planted only ten minutes from our house. Commercial developers swarmed into middle Tennessee like locusts and bought up all the adjoining land. And, for what may have seemed like an eternity to these aggressive investors, absolutely nothing happened. The shopping mall’s performance was, according to the newspaper, “Well below expectations.” There was more waiting. Some of these developers had borrowed tens of millions of dollars to buy their land, and those notes were coming due. A few didn’t make it. They couldn’t afford to wait it out. Time was money.
The prophet Habakkuk, like most of the Old Testament prophets, was running out of emotional capital . . . patience. Habakkuk’s task must have been overwhelming . . . warning people, day after day, of the certain results of their sinfulness. Habakkuk needed a loan. He frantically longed for some good news.
So he did the only thing he could do. He entered into the Lord’s presence, stood in awe of God’s faithfulness, and asked for more funds: “In the midst of the years revive it,” Habakkuk pled, “in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy” (3:2).
“The note is coming due, Heavenly Father,” Habakkuk was saying, “and I have nothing to pay it with. My creditors are circling in the air above me.”
“My body trembles; my lips quiver at the sound; rottenness enters into my bones; my legs tremble beneath me” (3:16). Sounds like a visit to Habakkuk’s banker for sure.
He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the wealth in every mine.
He owns the rivers and the rocks and rills, the sun and stars that shine.
Wonderful riches more than tongue can tell.
He is my Father, so they’re mine as well.
Although I don’t think this little song had been written when Habakkuk was having his financial crisis, I do wish I could have sung it for him. Actually, as I read further in this passage, I realize Habakkuk could have sung it to me.
“Yet I will quietly wait . . . Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD” (3:16-18).
Do you have any “notes” coming due? Is time on someone else’s side because they’ve got all the money—all the control? All the leverage? Do you feel powerless?
Well, get up and face your situation. Do what you can, but do not be afraid. Since time is money and your Father has all the capital you’ll ever need, you can wait this one out. As the old hymn says . . . “you can trust Him fully.”
Time may not look like it's on your side, but your Father is.
That’s all you need.