His Timing, Not Ours
The old phrase: “God works in mysterious ways” took on an entirely new meaning for me this past week in the most literal way.
For those of you who don’t know, for about two months Claire, Michelle, Nizam (before he was relocated) and I have been preparing a rather large group of teens for confirmation. The big event that we had been looking forward to and feverishly working and planning towards was fast approaching – the Confirmation Camp.
We held numerous meetings to figure out how much food was needed. Claire and Michelle’s words are still ringing in my ears: “We would rather have too much than too little!” Potential camp-sites were contacted. Gracious members of our congregation opened up their homes to us. Plans were moving along and things were happening!
However, on the Saturday evening, a week before the camp I felt a sudden flush in my cheeks and a tickle at the back of my throat.
Only to wake up on Sunday morning to a foreign weakness in my knees and a thick feeling in my head. Speaking to Claire early on Sunday morning, I brushed it off thinking: “Ag, it’s probably a cold”.
But it turned out that it wasn’t. I awoke on Monday feeling terrible and was later administered a test which showed positive for Covid-19. So determined was I that it wasn’t, that I had a second test the next day which was positive again! …Not the positive that I aspire to be. My positive test ensured that the camp I had been working so hard towards, so looking forward to, would not be realized for me, as I would be in quarantine.
A shock of note, right? Definitely not according to our plans by a long-shot.
It made me think of a scripture in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
I can assure you that this was very confusing for me. Why would God not want me to attend this camp?
But, people of the cross, this is where our faith comes into play.
Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Emphasis mine) Because, despite me not being able to attend the camp and assist the team, guess what happened? The candidates still had a brilliant weekend away. Most importantly, there were teenagers who encountered the Holy Spirit, and why? Because God was still working. His thoughts intended to accomplish His good purposes, even when none of us could see it.
And how true is this for life?
So often in life we wonder why this or that had to happen at specific times or how did this fall into place just at the right time? Why did this have to happen or couldn’t the timing of a specific situation come sooner? You see, these are all too real occurrences in the Christian life in terms of our relationships with God, right? This is the day to day reality of our walk.
But what are we to do in those moments?
We have to turn back to His word in what He has revealed to us about Himself and ask the Holy Spirit to renew our minds according to the truth of His word and what it says about His nature to catalyse us into a deeper faith in what He can do, despite the circumstances and how they appear to be. For example, if we are struggling with God’s timing, Isaiah 60:22 says that at the right time the Lord will make it happen.
This is the timing of the one that the Bible says sustains the universe by the word of His command (Heb.1:3). Won’t His timing be perfect seeing that the sun rises each morning and sets each night? (If you struggle with this, I do too.) Praise God we are under grace and growing in grace!
Finally, in suffering, timing and what God is doing in our lives can at times really not make sense to us and grieve our hearts. Look at our precious Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, perspiring sweat droplets of blood, out of fear of what lay ahead for Him.
But, despite His suffering, it resulted in new life and in God being glorified. Despite how things looked in the circumstances of that first Good Friday, look at the reality in which we still live from the Resurrection Sunday.
So, people of the cross, I encourage you today. Don’t examine yourself or your circumstances by what you can see. But I encourage you, have faith in the one who sustains it all, by the word of His powerful command, who loves you and wants life for you in all of its fullness.
Love in Christ Jesus always,
Jo Allen is coordinating Children’s Church this year.
Chat with her if you’d like to volunteer in this ministry.
(084 433 2247)