2 Peter 3:8
”But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”
God’s timing is such a funny and seemingly fickle thing. I don’t know if you know who Harry Chapin is-he wrote Cat’s in the Cradle. Harry Chapin is my favorite singer song writer who really enraptures life both past and present. One line that I’ve been singing all week is from Cat’s in the Cradle, “Child arrived just the other day, came to the world in the usual way. There were planes to catch, bills to pay…he learned to walk while there was a way.” A reminder that there’s always something to do and never really a good time for life’s many changes.
If you are like me, you have probably sensed at times that our timing and God’s timing rarely match up. In fact, at times-it can seem like it never matches up. Our children are rarely born at the most opportune time, life lessons rarely happen when we are most prepared for them, and opportunities can seem like set backs because we rarely are prepared for the timing of God’s generosity.
One example is that I have been praying for Jenna to find a position in La Junta since we started serving this church. I have prayed feverishly, often on my three-hour drive back and forth on the days I have commuted. If I was praying-I was praying for this one thing in addition to everything else. Maybe you can relate-days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months. Well that is-until two weeks ago when God miraculously answered our many months of prayers.
Jenna interviewed on a Friday and received an offer at 7:30 the next Monday and put in her notice that Tuesday. A few days! During Advent! Let me repeat that one more time: DURING ADVENT! My whole plan was for this advent season to be a season of recharging and reconnecting with God. I wanted to devout myself and our church to spiritual practices like fasting, prayer, reading scripture, connecting in community, and Holy Communion! Now I am packing and moving bins of stuff, painting walls, scrubbing floors, hanging doors, and millions of other endless tasks while trying to prepare my heart and soul for the coming Christ child. At first that might seem like a daunting task and what a bumbling of God’s timing, but I assure you it really isn’t. Let me explain.
I am a doer. I have found that I connect with God deepest through action of doing. I pray the hardest when I paint or scrub glue off linoleum or hang doors. It’s how I am designed. It is how God has made me. So, in praying for this amazing miracle and gift of Jenna’s job offer, God’s timing has worked so perfectly for me to ACTUALLY connect much deeper with God this Advent season.
This has caused me to look back at many of the things I have often said about God’s timing and realized that God’s timing was in fact, perfect. It might not have seen like it at the time but looking back seeing more of the storyline unfold in hindsight-I realize that my perspective was so limited unlike God’s. I could only see what was in front of me while God knew the whole story arc. I didn’t know where I would be a year from then or let alone ten years-but God did.
I think this is what the author of 2 Peter is trying to get us to understand today. God’s timing is so much greater and more perfect than our own. We often live minute to minute or day to day. God, though, is eternal. God sees our lives and the lives of billions of other brothers and sisters in Christ and how each one of us effects and is affected by each other. God is so good all the time and quite often we only see it in looking back.
This week’s theme of advent is Joy. I am filled with Joy this week at God’s incredible timing. Maybe you are waiting for an answered prayer or perhaps struggling to understand why God doesn’t answer a long overdue prayer. Maybe the answer to a prayer has been no when you desperately wanted a yes this holiday season. I invite you to be patient this advent season with God’s timing. Understand, as much as you can with your waiting, that God intends only good for all of us. Each of us has a different understanding of good than each other, let alone our definition of Good compared to God’s definition of goodness. Let us take comfort in the hope that rests in the coming of Jesus this season- the promise fulfilled from God- like all promises of God.
May it be so,
Rev. Lou Ward
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