“Faith knows that God’s clocks keep different time from man’s clocks, but they always keep right time! Only the believer in Jesus Christ is able to live under this tension, which would break the heart of the nonbeliever. The ability to do this belongs only to the “aliens and exiles” (1 Peter 2:11), to the “foreigners and strangers” (Hebrews 11:13), to the Christian as homo viator [traveling man].” So said Herman Sasse.
It is not just the belief in God’s time that makes a Christian different, but the ability to “stand outside” oneself and see a situation from a different angle or perspective, to be “beside yourself” watching while also being fully involved. To the world it seems like insanity. Jesus was so fully involved in the suffering and needs of others his family thought he was insane, beside himself. Mark 3:21. Paul was considered to be out of his mind by some because of his deep concern for the churches 2 Corinthians 5:13. To the world the traveling man seems unconcerned for himself to the point of indifference hence the constant referral to “take care of yourself”.
Living in the tension of God’s time and God’s will would break the heart of an unbeliever, Sasse says. The worldly response to the “traveling man” can “almost break his heart” too.
In Acts 21 Paul is determined to go to Jerusalem- 12When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14When he would not be dissuaded, we fell silent and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”…
Paul uses a word that means to “deprive of strength and courage, dispirit, incapacitate for enduring trials”. All the weeping and crying could deprive Paul of the strength to face life as one at home in the body and away from the Lord, whose life is Christ, and who understands if he lives or dies he is Christ’s precious possession.