4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. John 9:4 (NKJV)
4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. John 9:4 (NIV)
4 We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. John 9:4 (NLT)
In this passage of scripture, Jesus makes it clear that there will come a time when it will not be feasible nor practical to accomplish the work that the Father has for us to do. The word ‘night’ is the Greek word ‘nyx’. The word means night as in nighttime, however, the word also applies to the time when work ceases, and the time of death. The ‘night’ of life comes in ways and times that are unexpected and unanticipated. We often delay our plans and are slothful in the execution of our assigned tasks believing that we have time. Nevertheless, night will come, and our work will remain undone.
Jesus, therefore, encourages us to work while it is day. The word ‘day’ is the Greek word ‘hēmera’. The word means day as it relates to the time period between sunrise and sunset, however, it also incorporates the understanding of while it is day, that is, while life gives one an opportunity to work. Jesus is encouraging us to work while life gives us the opportunity.
I believe that every day that we wake up is an opportunity for us to fulfill a reason for God waking us up. Since everything that God does is purposeful, there is a purpose for each day that God wakes us up and gives us life. Let us look forward to living each day to the fullest and working while life gives us the opportunity.
Excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King’s Sermon titled, Beyond Vietnam:
A Time to Break Silence April 4, 1967 at Riverside Church in New York City
We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity…Over the bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: “Too late.” …We must move past indecision to action…
Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter — but beautiful — struggle for a new world. This is the calling of the sons [daughters] of God, and our brothers [sisters] wait eagerly for our response. Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? …Or will there be another message, of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise we must choose in this crucial moment of human history.