“Timing Is Everything” has never been a particularly influential phrase to me. I have difficulty with time, especially keeping track of it when I’m deeply involved in conversation. This week, however, God has brought it to my attention several times. I’ve learned whenever He does that, to pay attention. It usually means He has something He wants me to understand.
It began for me on Sunday, at church, as the pastor talked about John 7. Jesus’ half-brothers wanted Him to go with them to the Feast of Tabernacles, which was a really big deal in Jerusalem. However, Jesus had good reasons not to go with them, the particular way they were going, WHEN they were going. Twice in the first 8 verses of chapter 7, Jesus says, “... my time has not yet come.” Clearly, his brothers were not seeing things from Jesus’ perspective. They wanted Him to do what made perfect sense to them. But Jesus saw the big picture; He had (and still has) a corner on knowing what is the right timing, and the best path. There’s something to be gleaned from this detail.
That was Sunday. And then...
A dear family member has planned her upcoming, beautiful, fairytale wedding, complete with beautiful gown and castle! They scheduled it based on dates that they logically assumed her fiancé would be available, according to the armed forces, regarding his plans to serve our country. On Monday, the armed forces’ plans for him suddenly changed. Despite the fact that the gown hangs in her closet, the invitations were sent, the castle rented, the food ordered... Through no fault of their own, unexpectedly, in one fell swoop their wedding arrangements crumbled.
It caused us all to stop and wonder what’s going on. Is God trying to communicate something, or protect them from something, or bring them something better? What does He know that they don’t? (Well, obviously, plenty.)
Whenever a door gets slammed on our plans, it’s a good idea to stop and ask God what’s going on, and then wait patiently for His answer. Actually, it’s a much better idea to ask Him before we make our own plans.
Anyway, that was Monday.
On Tuesday, I was excited to head to the airport to pick up my granddaughter who is visiting us for a couple of highly anticipated weeks. When she missed her plane, it changed my plans and my husband’s plans. No biggie... we picked her up later, which actually turned out to be more convenient, all things considered. However, since this was the third reference in a row to timing, God had my attention. And so I wondered: where is God’s hand in this? I asked Him, “Is there a reason? Are you using this to communicate something to me? This is three days in a row...”
So now it’s Wednesday, and God truly has my attention.
It seems clear that He is addressing my concept of timing and planning -- my timing, His timing, my plans, His plans... It is leading me to do a deep search in my life. I’m asking myself, “Where am I insisting on my own timing when God is saying, ‘Not yet; it’s not yet mytime.’ And where am I procrastinating where He is saying ‘Stop dragging your feet; now is my time for you!’”
It is much too easy to surge ahead with my perfectly reasonable plans, without being sensitive to His Holy Spirit, without “...taking every thought captive to Christ.” And I believe those are times where I miss out on something better.
I am being reminded that God wants nothing less than the absolute best for me because I’m His work of art. He loves me so much more than I can fathom. This is obviously not just true of me; it’s true of you as well. As our Designer and Creator, God is personally invested in each of our individual lives. Through Scripture and the whispers of His Spirit, God allows us access to His thoughts. And I’m reminded that He has a corner on Truth. We only see things from our perspective, but not God. He knows the all-inclusive big picture, including the future. So, He can be trusted far more than our own perceptions or emotions can ever be trusted.
He’s trying to teach me to follow Him rather than lead ahead with my plans. He is re-training me to more consistently practice His presence and patiently wait for His direction. Since He knows what I don’t know and He wants nothing less than my best, it seems like a “no brainer” to tune into His voice, and then to forge ahead in obedience to His leadership with all the passion He has put inside me. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” I can’t lose when I remember to live like this. But when I forget, then my emotions can push me to recklessly move forward or to procrastinate. Either way, I lose out.When my will gets in the way of doing His will the results are always LESS THAN what would have been God’s BEST.
So, this week, I appreciate the fact that God is personally communicating with me, bringing this whole area of timing and direction to my attention. I suspect that there are things in my life where He sees that my timing is off, and He’s steering me in a direction that will work out better if I pay closer attention to His lead. I want to be much more intentional every day, at every turn, to stop and seek His wisdom. I want to do things His way, consistently, even when it messes with my perception of what makes sense. I want to put a smile on His face. And yes, I also want the best for me. So, since He wants the best for me too, it’s simply sensible. My fleshy desires and preferences must always take a back seat to God’s direction.
So I am asking God to be really clear and “unsubtle” in communicating with me, which requires time alone with Him and with His Word. I’ve neglected that lately; but it’s time. He’s calling me to climb up into His lap and hang out with Him, alone, every day. He’s calling me back into a deeper, more intimate relationship.
How about you? Is it your time?
God bless us, everyone!
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