Timing is everything.
Comedians practice it perfectly to have the greatest effect. Politicians strategize with it to prove a point. Bakers have it down, feel it in their fingers, just how long they need to knead the dough for the perfect rise. Story tellers use it for intrigue and delight. Boyfriends work with it to grab that first smooch and kids use it against us to get exactly what they want.
But me, I use it for everything. I run my life by time. Filling out my daytimer on January 1 with birthdays and anniversaries to remember is one of my greatest joys. Checking it each morning tells me exactly what my day will look like. There are numbers and plans and appointments jotted down on each row.
I’m a creature that thrives on organization. Planned rhythms. Order.
Chaos makes me feel a bit panicky and helter skelter has never been my style.
Of course it makes perfect sense then that God would never ever ever ever EVER use my time line for anything, doesn’t it?
It’s not strange at all that He doesn’t listen to my perfect plans and well executed operations and maneuver within them. Because he loves me. And love pretty much looks like not getting what I want when exactly I want it.
We’ve told our kids this a thousand times, have we not?
So, I shouldn’t be surprised and yet continually I am. I’m surprised when I head down a road that I think he wants me to and it doesn’t work out just as I think it ought. I’m shocked when we do all of the things we think he’s asking and it doesn’t all line up as I’ve mentally ordered it in the palm pilot of my mind. I get angry when what I think should be turns out to be a shouldn’t be and I even start to darken my heart to things because they didn’t go my way.
Basically, I’m 4.
Of course, I have the restraint not to throw myself down in the middle of a sidewalk and kick my feet while I cry and scream but I won’t say the idea hasn’t crossed my mind.
What I do know is that God doesn’t give in to my tantrums anyways and so they’re hardly worth the effort and just because it might feel good in that exact moment, to pound the pavement with my fists, I know I’ll be the one to come away with the cuts and bruises.
Instead we ache with the weight of wondering what exactly He has for us and eventually we give it up. Eventually the words that we know in our heads ring true to our weary hearts. His timing, not ours. His plans, not ours. His ways, not ours. His goodness, not our perceived notion of it. His love, not our flimsy human version of it. His sovereignty ruling and reigning in us, outshining any plan I could ever possibly concoct.
If you’re waiting for something be encouraged. He doesn’t forget. He never forgets.
If you have a plan, a timeline, a schedule – well, sometimes it’s better to just chuck it right out of the window. Or even better, toss it up to him. Let him know the longings of your heart and then release it into his very capable hands.
He gets it. He knows.
He knows our hearts and he knows our very human propensities and he knows we don’t give up control easily and he knows we like grand and he knows we just want to follow him. Yet so often we want to take the lead. To hold the reigns. To be the conductor setting the exact time and pace for everything in front of us.
Hand it to him. He’s better and smarter and he has that all-knowing thing going for him that we just never will.