God’s Timing vs. Ours

With Christmas coming soon, we pause to remember what happened a couple thousand years ago.

Of course, we know the whole story. The King of heaven was born, lived and died, resurrected and returned to the Father where he came from, all over a period of about 33 years. We can read a lot about his life, family, teachings, friends, followers, and foes in the pages of Scripture.

But if we had a hundred lifetimes, we could never grasp the magnitude of what happened. God’s truth and our understanding are a mismatch made in heaven.

Since we know the entire story, I think we can venture outside our human made-up calendar of holidays and talk about the years after the first Christmas.

While we know a good bit about the last three years of Jesus’ life on Earth, we know comparatively little about his first 30.

We know the first “silent night, holy night” was the beginning of a 30-year period where the long-awaited Savior was living among people, known only to a relative few. Sure, we know Jesus and his family lived in Egypt for a time. Then there was the story from years later of this young man, whose parents left town without him, in the synagogue in Jerusalem. But overall, Jesus worked as a carpenter in Nazareth, a town that was not highly regarded.

One year before his public ministry began, the Savior of the world had been on Earth, living among us for 29 years.

His time had not yet come to begin the work for which he was born.

The Word walked among us there in Nazareth. Mothers delivered healthy babies and lost some. There were weddings, family celebrations, and burials. The Torah was read aloud for all to hear, including the parts in Isaiah about the coming Messiah.

People lived their imperfect lives in full view of God himself.

I’m sure Jesus lived as a caring, loving man should. He encouraged and comforted, wept and laughed, learned and taught, worked hard, and then stopped for lunch. Some days were better than others.

As we move into a new year, may we be people who have a clear idea of what “Emmanuel” (God with us) really means. He is at work, all the time, unseen to us. He works in the present and the future, as he did in the past.

But just because we can’t see him, doesn’t mean he isn’t at work.

He’s already been through the entire next year and is preparing the way for us with challenges to be met, trials to endure, joys to enjoy, and growth to be accomplished.

A number of years ago, at a particularly dark moment, the Holy Spirit put some words in my mind that I will never forget: “I see you.”

Whatever your situation, Jesus is with you. He sees you because his spirit lives in you.

Christian writers might have a better concept of how long things take to come to fruition, since writing is a time-consuming process. But they are still human and generally impatient.

So when our timing doesn’t seem to be working out the way we thought, maybe God’s timing isn’t on the same calendar page we are.

He is working. He is faithful.


Leave a Comment

The Writer’s Senses (a Writer’s Prayer)

Gracious God, thank you for the smell of pencil shavings, the tactile elegance of a good fountain pen, and the click-clack of ancient typewriter keys… for the intoxication of creative juices, the sweetness of a well-turned phrase… for the creak of the office chair, and the surprise of a catch …

Read More

The Purpose of Christian Books

A number of years ago, I recall listening to a sermon when the preacher spoke about all the problems the Israelites had while traveling through the wilderness for forty years after leaving Egypt. He was semiapologetic for the simplicity of the morning’s lesson. The Israelites kept forgetting God. Next time …

Read More

Fun Fridays – October 8, 2021

Enjoy today’s video of master potters at work. Seven minutes of extraordinary creativity and artistry. I could not help but compile the following: “I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the …

Read More

God Gave Me This Blog Post

God gave me this blog post.

By invoking divine inspiration I have guaranteed that you will read this post and possibly give me money to read more.

Sound like a stretch? Then what if I just wrote or said:
“God spoke to me”
“I was led to write this”
“God revealed this to me”
“I have been called to write this”
“I believe this is an inspired post”

Read More

Author Statement of Faith

I hope this isn’t a surprise, but if you put a hundred random, but devoted Christ-followers in a room, you would probably end up with a few differing opinions on a variety of theological issues. Hopefully, the disagreements wouldn’t be related to the essentials of the faith; but I suspect …

Read More

The Pressure Is Off

Last week, I wrote about the pressure on writers to write well and compelling enough to gain and keep readers. Today, I promise to take some pressure off. For Christian writers only, if you feel the pressure to affect a reader’s life rests entirely on your own ability to write …

Read More

Our Essential Work

My husband and I recently attended a ceremony for a milestone event, after which we felt depressed for several days. The memory still leaves us despondent. Why? Because no one invited the Lord. No one mentioned Him in any way, shape, or form. I waited helplessly to hear His name. …

Read More

In Your Time (A Writer’s Prayer)

Heavenly Father, you make everything beautiful in your time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). I submit to your timing. I await your timing. I desire what you will, as you will, when you will.  That goes for my writing, too. I long to touch lives with my words … in your time.I want to write passionately, effectively, impactfully …

Read More