When we think about God’s timing, usually we think about waiting. Often times there is something that we want to see in our lives, but it doesn’t happen as quickly as we would prefer. It could pertain to landing a new job, starting a family, moving to a new home, losing weight, or any other goal we have. In these cases, we might remind ourselves to trust God’s timing.
However, I have recently been seeing God’s timing in a different way. Sometimes things happen in our lives that we would prefer not to happen right now, or not to happen at all. Or perhaps we might have certain plans in mind, but they go a different way instead. In some cases, these things I am talking about could be something major. But more often, they are small inconveniences. The good news is that they can teach us something, if we are willing to learn.
1 – Trust
We can learn to trust God and His timing.
We have a friend who is neighbors with a family member. The family member adopted a small dog about a year ago or so. Long story short, our friend spent a lot of time with the pup, so the family member gave her to our friend. Sadly, our friend has recently learned that he has cancer. So we now see what a blessing it has been to have this dog come into his life. She brings him smiles and laughter, when everything else in his life seems dim. This showed me to trust God’s timing. He brought the dog into our friend’s life at just the right time.
2 – Dying to Self
We can learn to “die to self” or basically put our selfish desires on the back burner.
My husband recently invited someone to our house for dinner on the spur of the moment. Since it was a last minute thing, instead of resting that weekend as I had hoped, we had to clean up the house and do some cooking. I admit that due to lack of sleep, I felt easily frustrated. I wondered why we couldn’t have planned ahead, so that we had better time to prepare. This is when I had an “aha moment” regarding God’s timing. I knew then that instead of focusing on what I wanted, this was a chance to be a blessing to someone else. You see, the friends that we had over were going through some difficulties, so spending quality time with loved ones likely did their hearts some good.
3 – Patience
We can learn patience when God’s timing does not align with our own.
Patience seems to be something many of us have to continually work on, myself included. And I have plenty of opportunities! In this case, I don’t mean the kind of patience we need when waiting for something. Rather, it is more like the patience we need to keep ourselves from getting irritated when life doesn’t go our way. One evening this week I had plans to sit down and write, yet instead I had another learning opportunity. When I got home from work, nothing went as I had hoped. It’s not that anything bad happened, but there were numerous little things that commandeered my time. So I had to remind myself that this was a chance to practice patience. In the end, I do believe God’s timing was perfect, because when I did finally find the time to do some writing, He reminded me of key points that I needed to add. If I had written when I wanted to, those important facts might have been missed.
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11
I am learning that God’s timing is always better than my own. Whether I want something to happen sooner, later, or not at all – God always knows what is best. And He is always working things out for our good and His glory. He can see the beginning and the end. Knowing this gives me a sense of peace. When I allow God to direct my steps, I have nothing to worry about.