Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Timing is Everything

He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11.  

 I remember it like it was yesterday. My husband and I had been trying for a baby for two years. Month after month, the tests were negative. We had gone to doctors for ultrasounds, biopsies, and blood tests. Both of us were secretly worried that there was something wrong - really wrong - with one of us. But we were too terrified to say something out loud.

I was Babies-backwardsR-Us buying a gift for yet another baby shower. I hated the checkout. Not because I didn't like buying things for my friends, but because the cashier always had the nicest, most well-meaning, totally inappropriate things to say.

"When are you due?!" She said excitedly.
"I'm not pregnant." I said. "Hopefully soon, though." Trying to give her a hint of shut-the-hell-up-and-give-me-my-bag but, unfortunately, it was a slow day at Babies-backwardsR-Us.

"Well, they say timing is everything!" She bubbled.
"Yep." I groaned.
"And they say God's timing is perfect." She bubbled, again.
"Mmmm" I pursed through my lips. Trying to make it to the exit without another painful homily.

So, I really thought about this. And then dig some digging... For hours I searched through dozens of versions of the Bible, and you know what I found? Absolutely NO reference to the phrase, "God's timing is perfect" line that we pander like it's a gold nugget of wisdom straight from the Lord himself.

What I did find, was a hundred verses of people, agonizing to God about exactly how long they had to deal with their current situation and wanting to know what they had to do to change it. Everything from enemies out to kill them, to sickness, to depression, and everything in between. We question God's timeline. We want to know the plan. But God, in His mercy, doesn't give us the entire plan because He knows our brains would melt. He doesn't give us details. He gives us Grace. 

God plants our purpose in our very souls. Our meaning, our place, our destiny are all seeds in the deepest parts of us. He gives to us even while we are dreaming to cultivate the beautiful existence that we were born to fulfill. But as those seeds have to churn and rumble, we grow weary. We start to doubt, and worry.

When we don't see what God is doing, or understand why God is taking us a certain path, we worry we're doing something wrong, that we missed it. In reality, God still has us in the palm of His hand. This is just the "churning" phase. How long does the churning phase last?

As long as it has to.

But I can tell you, there is no such thing as real success that comes overnight. Plenty of videos go viral, plenty of people get a taste of "instant fame" after they do something and it gets shown on YouTube. But where are they three months later? A year later? Did anyone even learn their names?

The people that seemed to have an overnight success twenty years ago - worked for years to become what they are. The gold medalist at the Olympics that suddenly up to their eyeballs in endorsements, late-night interviews, and magazine articles.... They didn't just hit the gym the week before. It took years of sacrifice, tears, and tens of thousands of hours of practice.

God really does have the best timing. This world, our destinies, it's His. We know that it is Him and only Him that literally holds time and matter together and keeps this blue ball spinning. While it can be so painful to wait, and so tempting to try to "help" God speed things along, it will only end in disaster and we'll only die tired.

While the Bible may not specifically state, "God's timing is perfect" as the pillowcase may be stitched, it does warn us that God has a plan and a destiny for everyone that asks to be His: and to try to fix or hurry that along can have some disastrous consequences. Ask Sarah what happens when you try to take matters into your own hands. Better yet, ask Abraham what happens when your wife decides to worry and take control. (Genesis 16) It gets ugly. It gets ugly FAST.

Worry makes us do crazy things. Psalm 37 talks about how worry can make you forget your integrity. Especially when you see people doing stupid thing, wrong things, and succeeding. It's hard. It's hard knowing that you're doing what God has called you to do, and you're struggling. Then you see someone whom you know is a total douchebag make twice the money you do, only to throw it in your face. Hubs and I have been there, and it stings. We were fighting just to keep all the utilities paid at once, and hearing from others about their new car, vacation, or raise... It's hard not to be angry, let alone happy for them.

But again, the Bible shows us God's grace. We can do a million things without God - or one thing with Him that will last forever. We can worry that we're never going to amount to anything and that our present situation will never change, or we can ask,"What do I need to learn here?" One of the best prayers that I learned to pray is, "God, what are you trying to show me?" I began to be a little more eager to learn the next lesson. Why? Because where we were sucked, and I wanted to keep from going around the same mountain again and again.

Mommas, hold on to what God has told you. Hold tight to the deep longings that your soul carries. Those aren't mistakes. Those are the very fiber of your being that is developing deep within you. Sometimes this journey is a long one, and worry can take its toll. Don't let your fear make you do something stupid, just to "help" God with his plan. He's got this.

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