3/19/10

God's timing.

There are so many questions we have as humans.  Our inability to understand agitates our minds.  Lack of understanding, for humans, is akin to hunger.  It can affect our mood, focus, etc.  Think about it.  This is especially true when we try to understand God's timing.  We ask for things from God and want them immediately.  But then we cannot understand why we don't receive them immediately.  I actually don't believe there is anything wrong with asking for immediate blessings.  I pray just before an exam that God will help me remember what I have studied.  A doctor may pray for steady hands just before surgery.  We should expect God to answer our prayers. (Matt. 7:7).  The problem we have is when God doesn't hand over those blessings right away.  Or worse, when God says no. 

The one thing we know from experience (and scripture) is that we are incapable of understanding God's timing.  I say incapable, maybe the right term is not allowed to?  Whatever it is, God is clear about where we stand on understanding him.  "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority."  (Acts 1:7).  There's not much else to say about this verse.  God's knowledge surpasses time and space.  Trying to understand his plan for our lives is like a dog trying to understand chemistry.

So, what can we use from this verse?  Why does this post even matter other than to tell you that we're stuck with being incapable of understanding God's timing?  One truth that comes to mind as I read this verse is that I am not in control.  And when I really think about it, I don't want to be.  Would you want to know when you are going to die?  Or when others will die?  Or when you will have kids or get married or move or get a new job?  You would spend every second of your life excited or worried about dates in the future.  The present would be wished away.  The future would be feared.   And opportunities to introduce Christ to others would be overlooked, even more than they are now.

This verse gives us a small glimpse of the mystery of God.  Just as a father and mother take care of their child and do things for which the child knows nothing of or can understand, our father in heaven is taking care of us.  He goes before us in time (which he created, by the way).  He works in ways we cannot comprehend, but then allows us to understand only a glimpse through the holy spirit.  (Eph. 3:4).

Waiting on God can be difficult, or as we see in James, a trial.  But scripture tells us to "[c]onsider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."  (James 1:2-4).

The next post will be about spiritual warfare and our role in it. 

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