Timing Is Crucial

Written By: Chris Mace
Timing is Crucial lilly pad

Pond Lilies on Mount Desert Island, Maine

We know plants bloom or fruit at specific times. Field daisies flower, crab apples blossom, and pond lilies emerge on schedule. There are seasons to life, and at some point, we become aware that “time” for us is unpredictable and limited and that there are no extensions or redo’s. Our responses to this truth may be mixed but usually include thoughts about life’s meaning and purpose and perhaps even an urgency and the making of a “bucket list”. In that context,  Diana Bell’s  praise chorus deserves consideration: “In His time, in His time. He makes all things beautiful, in His time/Lord, my life to you I bring, may each song I have to sing/ be to you a lovely thing, in your time.” (Praise chorus by Diana Bell)

Those are encouraging words, but one certainly questions those ideas if one does not believe in Almighty God. Even people of faith may question them when circumstances are difficult when they have disappointed themselves, or if they are feeling deflated or perhaps even defeated by the negativity of messy lives, lousy attitudes and offensive behaviors which may be their own or someone else’s! Yet, despite spiritual weaknesses and moral failures, Scripture proclaims that God has good news for us all, “He will bring us out of the quagmire of our folly and set us upon the Rock of steadfast love when “(we) cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for (us).” (Psalm 57:2) That is the promise of the Gospel. God will redeem people and their circumstances when they sincerely seek Him and His purposes in their lives.

Christ taught that life’s “quagmires”, all the injustices, meanness, and evil in this world proceed from man’s fallen nature and that mankind desperately needs God’s redemptive intervention. (Matthew 15:19)(John 3:16) So, in “the fullness of time” Christ stepped into the human narrative for that reason. (Galatians 4:4-5) He appropriated the Old Testament Messianic prophecy which said that “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD” was upon himthat he was “anointed to bring good news to the poor,” that he would ” comfort the brokenhearted,” and that he would proclaim the “release of captives ” and freedom of “prisoners.” Furthermore, his message to Israel was that God would “give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.(Isaiah 61:1-3) (Luke 4:17-19)

Jesus’ Jewish audience had an historical perspective for Isaiah’s words. Time and again, their idolatrous and self-willed rebellions against God had tested His forbearance, “His steadfast love.” However, when they cried out in repentance and confessed their waywardness, He repeatedly intervened, raising them up from the ashes of their destructive sinfulness and powerfully restoring their mourning nation with forgiveness, joy, opportunity, goodness and renewal. But before doing His special work in their lives. He waited until they cried “out to God Most High” in a sincere desire to have Him ” fulfill his purpose for (them).”

Somewhat surprisingly, Jesus declared this transforming power was his to assert by personally claiming Isaiah’s Old Testament prophecy which foreshadowed Christ’s earthly life of compassionate help and healing and hope he gave to the hopeless, the physically, materially, socially, and spiritually defeated. Those ancient words also pictured his personal sacrifice and crucifixion-to release the world from spiritual oppression and to lift humanity from darkness into light because it had proven over time that it could not do so without divine help. New Testament correlates are the promises that “…everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21) and that God works all things for good to those who love Him enough to live within His purpose of conforming to the image of Christ, the image for which He created us.(Romans 8:28)

God will always exert His sovereign influence in the matters of men. Even wise King Solomon needed a life time to discover that God waits to give redemption until people acknowledge their need. Reflecting upon the general purpose of existence and the specific meaning behind his long and privileged life, he realized the importance of submitting to moral principles set forth by God. Recognizing God presence in His life, he said that God “had made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11; 12:1)

God creates beauty through faith, through the humility and trust of hearts that are teachable and transformed by mindset shifts from self-dependence to God-dependence, from self centeredness to God centeredness, from our folly filled wisdom to His Truth, from self-righteousness to Christ’s. The meaningless wastelands we have created and the difficulties and injustices we experience will be changed into something purposeful. The Psalmist reassuringly sang ”The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. (Psalm 138:8) And the Philippian Church was encouraged that Godwho had brought salvation to them, would “bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6) And “In His time,” this broken, fallen, groaning creation will be “set free from bondage to corruption.” (Romans 8:20-24)

“In His time” is how history’s narrative will be written. The conclusion of time will be beautiful for those who have cried out “to God most high.”  And Scripture is clear that “today” is the day that one should consider these things because we are promised no other day. (Hebrews 3:13,4:7))


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