So I’m FINALLY reading this book I was given over a year and a half ago, and the timing of it couldn’t be better. I mean, it’s like I had gone out intentionally searching to find this book instead of rediscovering it quietly waiting for me to remember it’s existence on my book shelf. As I’m reading it, blown away and smiling at how perfect it all is, I realize this isn’t the first time I’ve had such an experience. I have a tendency to receive books as gifts I’ve heard nothing about and, for whatever reason, have no time to read in that moment. So I pop it up on my bookshelf, promising the bright little tome I will get to it eventually.
Of course I tend to completely forget about it! It just sits there, wondering how it got transported from the gleaming beauty of the store’s bookshelf to the island of misfit toys, jammed into my rather eclectic collection of titles. Yet invariably, God will sort of nudge me to go grab that book out already and, lo and behold, it’s exactly what I need to read in that moment. It’s crazy awesome!
Perfect timing is just that – perfect. It’s the compliment you needed to hear at exactly the right moment, the hug you didn’t know you needed until you received it, the bonus given just as that big bill became due, or the person you meet that is perfect, but wouldn’t have been perfect even 3 months earlier. We smile and call it fate, or we thank our lucky stars, but we know when we’re experiencing perfect timing because it feels so, well … perfect!
My challenge, and I don’t think I’m alone here, is waiting for that perfect timing. I’m a “get things done” sort of girl. So while patience may be a virtue, its one I regularly wrestle with and admittedly want to curse at on occasion. Okay, maybe a lot of occasions! The thing is, whenever I run ahead of God (or lag behind – sometimes I want to do anything but move and would prefer to stay locked in my closet or something) it never goes well for me. Hmm. Imagine that! My timing isn’t divine or perfect. Who knew?
Well, God did. He tells us in Isaiah 55:8, “My intentions are not always yours, and I do not go about things as you do.” He follows up this important piece of information with yet another: “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14, ESV) He knows it takes strength and courage for us to let go of the outcome we want, in the timing we want, in the way we want it to happen. But He also encourages us with a reminder to “not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up,” (Galatians 6:9, NIV).
I want to reap a harvest in my life. I want to look back warmly if I make it to the red hat society stage and smile at the wonderful relationships I’ve shared in, the blessings I have experienced with my family, the financial support I was able to give to others, and feel blessed I got to do it with a quality individual by my side. So when I catch myself running ahead – or lagging behind – God yet again, I force myself to stop (or if I’m sitting in the closet, put down the glass of merlot and open the door). And I remind myself God’s timing is worth the wait, that “His good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:12) is just that: Perfect.
Even better, when I finally lay down my will and start searching for His, this amazing thing happens. I find peace. I feel happy. I remember God thinks I’m worth blessing and He’s got my back. The stress and the fear melt away. In Isaiah 40:31 we’re told, “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles,” (ESV). Geez. I guess He talks about that, too! I have to admit, He’s pretty awesome.
For Further Thought: “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him,” (Lamentations 3:25). What is an area in your life you’re tempted to run ahead of or behind God in? Think of one thing you can do this week to surrender to God’s timing about this issue.