Have you ever been anxious about an upcoming event? Have you been worried that you aren’t where you think you should be in life yet? Have you fretted about why you haven’t started the supposed next life-stage yet?
On the other hand: Have you been totally surprised by the perfect timing of a phone call from a friend? Have you been encouraged by how certain circumstances in life seem to line up just right and just in the nick of time? Have you ever been so glad that that thing you wanted to come so quickly didn’t because it would have caused you to miss important opportunities?
If any of these things apply to you as a follower of Jesus, then you’ve experienced God’s timing! And as you and I strive to be more and more on mission with Jesus, then we need to be more and more in sync with his clock!
What Is God’s Timing Like?
- God’s Timing Is Mysterious: Here’s an example: When will Jesus return? Who knows but it will be like a thief in the night. And God’s timing in many stories in the Bible illustrates that human beings have to live within the tension of God’s mysterious timing. For instance, Jacob wanted to marry Rachel but was tricked into marrying Leah instead. He had to wait for 14 years until God granted him the thing that he wanted! That’s crazy! We don’t and can’t always understand God’s timing. We have to live and obey in the tension.
- God’s Timing Is Wise: God has this uncanny ability to do things at just the right time. It’s almost like he knows what he’s doing! Here’s an example from my life: When I was deciding which university to go to, I had narrowed my choices down to two. So I planned to visit them both on the same day together. The one I liked better was first. But when I got on campus, I hated it! It was ugly, the professor I wanted to meet was unavailable, and the people weren’t friendly. Then we went to the second one and it was great…especially in comparison to the first one. If I had seen them in a different order I may have had different feelings, which could have led me to a different school, which would have meant that I’d never have met my wife. God’s timing is wise and we have to trust it!
- God’s Timing Is Timely: This one just sounds silly. But it is so true! We’ve all heard stories of people who receive the perfect sum of money at just the right time. We’ve all had the experience of a friend or family member calling or dropping in with just the right timing. And many of us have felt strangely compelled to reach out to someone, only to find out that God used us to help them in a special way at just the right time. God also will sometimes step in just at the right time to help us when there’s a need. I immediately think of the story of Abraham and Isaac and how God sent a ram to get caught in a thicket at just the right time to prevent Abraham from sacrificing his son. God’s timing is always right on time!
- God’s Timing is Good: This one is probably the hardest one for me. Why? Because I think that my timing is good. I think the way that I would schedule things out is good. I think my life-plan is good. And those things may be pretty good. But when they’re good it’s only because they line up with the goodness of God’s timing. So sometimes this means that God will withhold things that we thing we may need or want because he can see the bigger picture and therefore he knows what is best for us. This is a handy reminder that we must have faith in the fact that God’s timing is always a realization of the fact that God has our best interests at heart.
- God’s Timing is Divine: Here’s a verse about God’s timing, among other things, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55.8). It is fair to add here that God’s timing is not our timing. And since God is smarter, more resourceful, and more selfless than all of us, his timing should always be trusted. Why then do we so often trust our own timing instead of his? The answer is simple: we’re proud. At the bottom is plain ol’ selfish pride that makes it hard for us to accept God’s timing.
Friends, it’s high time that we begin to accept God’s timing and stop trying to manipulate him into doing things on our timing! He’s the all-knowing, all-powerful Creator of the universe. He can do with our calendars as he sees fit!
When you think of God’s timing what comes to mind? Share some thoughts and stories in the comments below!