God’s timing is perfect
by Victor Leslie, Major –
Around 8:30 pm on Wednesday night I was sitting in band practice doing an excellent job playing my trombone when the bandmaster relieved my stress by announcing that he had asked Dawn Smith, our first chair solo horn player, to do the devotions for us. Dawn began by announcing her title for the devotional, “God’s timing is perfect,” and immediately asked: “Have you ever heard a phrase or saying that you’ve heard before, but this time it seems to hit home with real meaning? Whether the timing is just right or you’re simply paying more attention, this time it makes sense.” Right away, she caught my attention, for indeed I had just heard a phrase that I had previously heard, and this time it hit home with real meaning.
I began to reflect on the numerous examples from Scripture which exalt the timing of God—Isaac’s near death experience, Jacob waiting seven years to marry Rachel, Pharaoh’s daughter finding Moses, Nathan confronting David, the big fish finding Jonah, Nehemiah rebuilding the walls, and of course, Jesus’ coming to earth “in the fullness of time”—so much biblical evidence to show how God’s exquisite timing is never off.
But what about today? Surely the perfect timing of God was not specifically reserved for the history of the Bible?
Of course not! We all can point to life experiences that provide a window to how uncanny God’s timing is. Often it may seem that God’s timing in our life is wrapped in an opaque mystery, but a closer look at our experiences show how flawless and fruitful his timing actually is. All it takes is a few moments of retrospection and we recognize how remarkably beneficial his timing has been.
My own testimony corroborates that God graciously allows us to experience the benefits of his timing in immeasurable ways. I have learned to accept that some questions will be unanswered and some answers will be unwanted, but end results validate that in every case, a loving and caring Father’s hand moves through the annals of time, working behind the scenes in indescribable ways, to protect and provide, shaping every event and arranging every moment to meet his perfect timing. Times of prosperity, times of poverty, times of adversity, times of privilege, times of harmony, times of distress, all are in our Holy Father’s hand and they do not happen until he says so.
While there is great encouragement in knowing this, a significant challenge remains in understanding, appreciating and responding to the timing of God. We all desire good things to happen in our lives now rather than later, but our reality is more that God has us at a resting stop while he maps the way forward. Our hearts question: Why does God take so long, why isn’t he in a hurry, why does he not work according to our timeline?
Dawn Smith provided a possible answer: “He’s working on your patience.” Isaiah 30:18 says “…blessed are those who wait for Him.” God often uses these times of waiting to stretch our faith in him, our delays to grow our reliance on him and our impatient frustrations to restore full dependence on his grace. We often feel like we cannot wait to carry out God’s will for our lives, but as we wait and trust, we gradually understand that God’s perfect timing takes only as long as needed to complete his plans—in us, for us and through us.
If God’s timing in your life forever seems like a mystery, if you are waiting for some of the things that God has put on your heart to come to pass, I encourage you to keep trusting him and as Dawn prayed, “to rest in the knowledge that God has a plan for our lives” (Jeremiah 29:11-13). Do not be anxious about anything (Matthew 6:25-34), live a life of daily dependence upon God (Psalm 34:10) and trust God implicitly for the future (Psalm 31:15). In the end, God’s perfect timing always produces more abundant fruit than your own timing ever could.