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December 27, 2014

Clergy Corner: Wait on the Lord, and be patient for His perfect timing

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Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 2:51 pm, Wed Jun 11, 2014.

Proper timing is essential. I met my wife at Walker High School in Jasper, Ala. 
 
We were standing in parade formation practicing marching band drills. The sun was hot. She swooned and fell backwards.  
 
God’s timing put me behind her at just the right moment in time. Like an angel falling from the sky, Carol landed in front of me.  
 
The rest, as they say, is history.  
 
Seeking God’s blessings and promises while failing to consider the important issue of God’s timing can be frustrating. Understanding God’s timing — the fact that God’s sees the beginning from the end and accomplishes His purpose at the right time — is an essential part of spiritual maturity. When we fail to consider that God has His own special timing, we set ourselves up for discouragement.  
 
By nature most of us are impatient. Impatience causes us to feel that God gets behind on His work and is slow to answer prayer; we are tempted to believe that God doesn’t understand the urgency of our situation. The “when” question is a big one that causes many to lose hope.   
 
Productive farmers live by understanding seasons and timing. Life on a farm has rhythm: cultivating, sowing, waiting and reaping.  
 
Orchards of blessing and vineyards of providence aren’t planted and harvested in a single day. Instead of trying to pick unripe fruit in frustration, we must learn to be patient and accept God’s timing. 
 
The Bible teaches, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).  
 
Ripe produce is delicious. Unripe produce picked too early is wasted potential.
 
Talented athletes understand timing. The best hitters in baseball know how to wait for the pitch. They do not swing at just any pitch.  Ted Williams, one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball, could hit the baseball like few before or since. In Williams’ classic book “The Science of Hitting” he shared one of his simple secrets:  Wait and spot a good pitch to hit.
 
Williams’ strength was the ability to evaluate a pitch effectively. Only when the pitch was in his zone did Williams swing the bat.
 
Great generals in history such as Charles de Gaulle understood timing in warfare. Effective comedians, Leno and Seinfeld for instance, work with timing. Skillful photographers like Kevin Carter are artists with a sensitivity for timing.  
 
Powerful leaders such as Bill Gates consider timing. Wise parents understand timing. The spiritually maturing must understand timing.
 
Waiting for God’s timing is difficult. A Tom Petty song complained, “The waiting is the hardest part.” So true.  
 
The great preacher Peter Marshall prayed, “Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work.”
 
Are you struggling with God’s timing? It isn’t easy to wait upon the Lord.  
 
If you’re single, you may be waiting for the right person to come into your life. Perhaps you are waiting on your first child or grandchild. Some are waiting for God to fulfill a calling or dream — beginning a new chapter in life or retiring from a career. 
 
In this economy, thousands are waiting on the right job. The underemployed are waiting on a promotion they have worked hard to attain.  
 
If we are honest, we want God’s best — Heaven — here on earth. We desire all that He has promised to us before the appointed time.  We want perfect health and a world with no problems.  
 
The younger generation demands all of the things the prior generation worked a lifetime to achieve in an instant. Our attitude says, “God, everything you promised for us in Heaven...give it to us today!”  
 
If God said it would happen, He obviously meant now. Right? 
 
When a person grows impatient with God’s timing they will sometimes manufacture or maneuver circumstances to work in their own favor. They will try to “force” God’s timing. 
 
Don’t forget that God views time in His own way. He is a patient, providential God. The Bible reminds us, “With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8).  
 
God’s timing has the bigger picture — eternity — in mind. Be cautious about attempting to force something prematurely.
 
Waiting is the hardest part. Yet, God’s timing is always best. Don’t make the mistake of believing that a delay means God cannot or will not bless you.
 
Chris Crain, Pastor, North Valley Church, Margaret

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