A Timely God

There is something powerful in this verse: Gal. 4:4 "BUT WHEN THE RIGHT TIME CAME, God sent His Sonů" I hate to admit this, but I've complained more than once to God about His showing up "late" when I needed Him! Yet, the truth is that God is NEVER late with anything!

It is such a hassle traveling these days. I can't even begin to tell you how many times in the past several years I have spent the night in an airport because of "delayed" or late flights, much less canceled ones. When things don't happen on time (one of my unfortunate pet peeves) I struggle! Unfortunately, this has spilled out in my relationship with God at times, all too often with me expressing to Him my frustration that "He hasn't come through when He should have." There is a discomforting expression in the Bible used in many places, " AT THE RIGHT TIME" or in KJV "IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME." As much as we don't want to see this truth, or accept it God has His own timing with things, and us and He cannot be late, ever! Notice this comment by Jesus to His disciples early on in His ministry: John 7:6 "Therefore Jesus told them, 'The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right.'"

While we operate in the Eastern Time Zone, God operates on a Heavenly Time Zone! Guess which one is the "standard time?" So many times in Jesus' own ministry He either went or stayed somewhere because it was "not yet His time." (i.e. John 7:8 "You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come." -- Or the time when Jesus was asked by His mom to turn water into wine: John 2:4 "Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come.") God clearly spelled out in the Old Testament that Israel would be held captive for 400 years - God told this to Abraham way before it happened! (Gen 15:13 "Then the LORD said to him, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.") This slavery in Egypt was never a surprise, nor its duration, nor its end! God has always been, is, and always will be in control. Nothing slips by Him, nor does He ever miss deadlines! This has got to be one of the most difficult concepts for us to accept, learn to live with, or live by. In a world of time that to us is strictly linear, it moves forward or backward. God stands outside of the restrictions of time and for Him it is every time, all the time! So He cannot fail to act in time! We measure it, He controls it.

Probably the greatest lesson in our journey with God will be connected to this very reality. It seems God doesn't take our counsel as to when something should happen. Job experienced growth in this area when his suffering seemed both unfair and poorly timed. In the end he learned to trust God for everything, even those things he could never explain. There are going to be situations in life that we may never understand on this side of eternity, this is simply a fact. We are limited in our view, and our perspective. But, this is the bottom line for us ... we must "trust" Him! Trusting in a God who never fails, never misses the correct time, never forgets us. These truly are the deep places with God that we must learn to navigate. Solomon tried to explain this unwieldy concept when he talked about "a time to live, a time to die, a time to plant, etc." In general, God is the governor of time, and our time.

If you are in a particularly difficult journey, remember He is ever present, and He will not be late! He expressed this so clearly to Moses when Moses asked what name God had for Israel would want to know when He came; and God said, "I Am that I Am" sent you! This presence tense was the only way to describe God's character to humans! Jesus stated the same when He said He was the "alpha and omega, the beginning and the end" and the same "yesterday, today, and forever." God is there, on time, always - you can count on Him!