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.

Emmanuel.

20 Responses to God’s Timing vs. Ours

  1. Barbara Curtis December 22, 2021 at 5:12 am #

    Thank you, Dan, for this post–a very needed one for me today as a reminder that God’s timing isn’t ours!

  2. Nora December 22, 2021 at 5:30 am #

    I thank you.

  3. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser December 22, 2021 at 6:10 am #

    I had a tough time finding
    reason; I was having fun!
    But this all was to God’s timing,
    and He told me I was done
    with the rugby and the flying,
    with the novel, with the welding,
    and He was not thus denying,
    but au contraire, mate, He was melding
    what I was with what must be
    to give purpose to my days,
    and He therefore let me see,
    so that I might offer praise
    in my manner, and in verse
    to turn to blessing what was curse.

    • Cindy Fowell December 22, 2021 at 8:11 am #

      Simply beautiful. You are in my prayers.

    • Judith December 23, 2021 at 10:38 am #

      Andrew, words fail me. My heart aches to surround you and your wife with pure love. May God bless you as richly as you have blessed this group. Grace, peace, and love.

  4. Darla Grieco December 22, 2021 at 6:32 am #

    Thanks, Dan. Timely. I needed that.

  5. Karen Ingle December 22, 2021 at 7:18 am #

    Such an uplifting message! Emmanuel! Thanks, Dan.

  6. Cindy Fowell December 22, 2021 at 8:10 am #

    The God Who Sees. Thank you, Dan, for the part about Jesus already knowing our future.
    Blessings!

  7. Jaime December 22, 2021 at 8:34 am #

    This is beautiful. And so encouraging.
    Thank you, Dan

  8. Derek Hastings December 22, 2021 at 8:41 am #

    That was wonderful. It’s interesting to wonder if Jesus got impatient with the Father while He waited for His time to be released to His Destiny.

  9. KT Sweet December 22, 2021 at 8:58 am #

    We/I so need this precious reminder. Merry Christmas!

  10. Frank December 22, 2021 at 9:37 am #

    Timely and enlightening

  11. Georgia Francis December 22, 2021 at 9:56 am #

    Thanks Dan!

    We all need to be reminded that God’s timing is better than our own!

    I’m going through some family issues that only God can correct. Maybe I’m not alone. But, I have faith that He will work it all out in His time!

    Merry Christmas, Dan. God bless you!

  12. Eileen Copeland December 22, 2021 at 2:39 pm #

    Thanks. Wonderful article.

  13. Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D. December 22, 2021 at 4:46 pm #

    Dan, it is so hard to wait on God’s timing. When my hubby moved on a few years ago, I asked God to bring me a new someone special. He told me, “No.” I asked him many times for a new life’s companion and each time, the answer was the same. I have had to learn patience which, to me, has always meant “people in need of medical attention.” Statistically, I have a better chance of being struck by lightning that remarrying. I have also learned to find comfort and strength in His perfect plan and in his perfect timing. And that’s more than okay. God is never late and He’s never early, but He is perfect.
    Merry Christmas!

  14. Diana Derringer December 22, 2021 at 6:38 pm #

    Thank you for the great reminder.

  15. Lee Wimmer December 23, 2021 at 1:34 am #

    Thank you Dan. In between hearing from God, we sometimes forget, He not only is with us, His grace is sufficient. He is a way maker, but faith that isn’t tested becomes weak. Thank God for our trials, for they pale, as Paul the Apostle said in the book of Romans, when compared to the glory stored up for us.

    I wish you and everyone at your agency the best of Christmas and a joyous New Year:)

  16. Judith December 23, 2021 at 10:41 am #

    Thank you, Dan, for this reminder of God’s eternal presence with us.

    During a time of grieving over a death, it occurred to me that God knows our last breath before we take the first one. And he is with us for every breath in between. It was a great comfort.

  17. Kathy December 23, 2021 at 3:02 pm #

    A good reminder that Jesus is always with us and sees us, just as He did all those years ago when He lived in Nazareth surrounded by people who didn’t know who He was! May we not miss Him this Christmas! Thank you, Dan, and may you and your family have a Christ-filled Christmas!

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