How do we measure time? Don’t we do it in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, years, and so on? Who determines how we spend the time we have been given? And why do we cling so tightly to time as benchmarks in our lives? No matter what we do in our daily lives, how or with whom we spend our hours or days, nothing happens until God’s timing is right!
GOD HAS A TIMETABLE FOR EVERYTHING.
Solomon’s godly wisdom tells us, “To everything there is a season (or an appointed time), a time for every purpose under heaven” (Eccl. 3:1). So, everything that happens, happens at the time God chooses! The vital work of salvation happened at the perfect time of God’s choosing: “When the fulness of time had come, God sent forth His Son” (Gal. 4:4). Why did Jesus come exactly when He did? Because everything happens on God’s timing!
GOD DOES NOT GIVE US ALL THE DETAILS.
God has made everything beautiful for its own time (Eccl. 3:11). He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Many people want to know the future. They turn to tarot cards, palm reading, crystal balls, tea leaves, astrology, and other works of human wisdom. Such things are dabbling in sorcery and the Bible explicitly condemns consorting in them, being detrimental to our souls.
Man has often tried to decipher when the world will end, when Christ will return, when coronavirus will go away. I do not believe we are able to know the reasons or the times. Otherwise, we would wait until the very last minute to turn to God, going about our selfish ways until just before it occurs.
God gives us the promise, but God does not give us the details. Why? Why doesn’t God tell us what is going to happen? Honestly, it would scare us if he did! As Jack Nicholson once said, we could not handle the truth. We would abuse it. We would try to change it, but God wants our trust to be in him. When Jesus’ disciples asked him about the timing of the kingdom’s restoration to Israel, he responded, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons which the Father has put in his own authority” (Acts 1:7). Basically, he told them, “It’s none of your business! Timing is God’s business!”
GOD IS NEVER EARLY OR LATE – HE IS ALWAYS ON TIME.
God’s timing is perfect. He is not limited or affected by time. By his very nature, he is timeless. “A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day” (2 Pet. 3:8). The world began when the eternal God spoke it into existence, not by rocks crashing together somewhere in space. Coincidence could not lead to the creation of life! It is the presence of a divine hand guiding every step of the way. In Genesis, the creation of all things is specifically called out and attributed to six days’ worth of work on God’s part. The unrevealed details should not matter to us. The point is that he created it in his own time and according to his own plan!
If you have ever been to a doctor’s office or hospital, which I’m sure you have, you know it is difficult to be in the waiting room for long. You want to get the appointment over with, but you just find yourself waiting and waiting. Well, we are all in God’s waiting room! The prophet Habakkuk once wrote, “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay” (Hab. 2:3).
When you are in a hurry and God is not, that is being in God’s waiting room. What is the delay? Remember delay is not denial; it just fosters patience, which we all need. (Some of us need it more than others.) The Lord states through Isaiah, “In the time of favor I will answer you” (Isa. 49:8).
We must also remember there is a big difference between “no”, and “not yet”. With immature children, you say, “not yet”, and they may pitch a fit because they think it means “no”. They simply do not understand that delay is not denial. Immature adults are no different!
BE PATIENT FOR GOD’S TIME.
A lack of patience can cause us anxiety, frustration, discouragement, jealousy, and may lead us to throw ourselves a pity party. Delays are by design. While we are waiting, God is working on us. God is getting us ready. He is telling us, “I will give you what you need but not until you are ready for it”.
We tend to worry about things that happen in our lives, and we often take it personally. The world is going to say, “Bad things happen, it must be God’s fault”, or they may outright deny him because he does not fit their idea of who God should be. They say, “He would never allow so many atrocities occur, if he really existed!”.
We mentioned earlier that Ecclesiastes 3:1 states, “There is time for every purpose under Heaven”. The following verses spell out all the things which occur in our lives; not that all of them will happen directly to every one of us. But the influence is universal.
A time to be born, And a time to die;
A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill, And a time to heal;
A time to break down, And a time to build up;
A time to weep, And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain, And a time to lose;
A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
A time to tear, And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
A time to love, And a time to hate;
A time of war, And a time of peace.
These words were even used in the popular song, “Turn, Turn, Turn”, released in 1965 by a band called “the Byrds”. Once again, the Word of God is so undeniable that even those who typically subscribe to an ungodly worldview cannot help but acknowledge his divine influence. God has a plan, a reason, and a purpose for all things in this world. He always draws beauty from that which seems desolate. He loves us so much he sent his Son to die on the cross for us.
All we must do is give our lives to him at “the favorable time”, repent from our old ways, surrendering in baptism, and living new lives as a shining example of his love and faithfulness imparted to us (cf. Acts 3:19; 2 Cor. 6:2). The time is now! God has given us time to come to him, but one day, that time will be up! What a terrible thought to hear the words, “too late”! – Weldon Blaine Hebert