Saturday, December 19, 2020

At Just the Right Time

We have come to rely on the predictability of time. Hours become days and multiplied days swiftly turn into weeks. We count on the changing of seasons - each one flowing into another  as we tick off another year. We find a measure of comfort in knowing what comes next.

How nice it would be, we think, if we could count on the important issues of our lives resolving themselves with the same predictability. We pray to the God who has promised to hear and answer prayer - trusting Him with the deepest needs of our hearts and lives. We believe all He has said, and we want desperately for Him to come through - now. We need the answer now.

Sometimes it comes right on time - our time. More often than not - we wait. Our deadline comes and goes and still no answer. We pray all the harder and lean into faith, but the heavens are "become like brass."  (Deuteronomy 28:23)

When heaven is silent, discouragement, doubt, fear and even anger try to set up camp in our hearts. We see time slipping away. It's late - too late. It will never work out the way we planned. We wonder if the promises are true.

All the while, in the silent waiting, God moves to the rhythm of His perfect timetable. Paul tells us in Romans 5:6 "When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners." 

The Old Testament closes with a promise in the book of Malachi.  One will come to restore the hearts of mankind before “the great and terrible day of the Lord.” Surely welcome news to a backslidden nation.

Then for four hundred years, ten generations, heaven was silent. Not one word.  The people must have wondered if God had forgotten His promise.  

God was not indifferent to man’s distress. Time was ticking down to the moment set apart long before time began - to the coming of the promised One. 

On a dark, lonely night in a stable in Bethlehem, a baby’s cry pierced the silence. All of heaven rejoiced - for from that moment nothing would be the same. The promised One had come.

At just the right time.

Stories of God's perfect timing fill the pages of scripture. What looks to us like "too late," is "just the right time" to Him. If we had the ability to look into the future, we wouldn't hold God to our demanding timetable. We would see what eventually becomes evident - His ways are perfect and just. Even His timing - especially His timing.