Not long ago I was sitting in what I call my prayer chair. This faces a window through which I can look out onto a small, green, forested area and contemplate life. That morning I was thinking about a prayer request that I have been faithfully bringing before the Lord for perhaps four years or more.
One of the thoughts that came to mind at that moment was, “Lord, if this request is granted, will I even have enough time left on earth to honor you through it?” Almost immediately after having this thought I sensed the Lord share something with me. He reminded me that Jesus had only three years of ministry walking the earth in which to accomplish all that he did.
I’m not sure about you, but if I knew for certain that I only had three years left on earth to serve the Lord, I would likely be in a hurry. I would try to pack as much into this time as I possibly could. I would probably try to plan out every month to help ensure that what I did counted for God, and for those I most dearly love.
As I thought more about Jesus’ three years, I was reminded that nowhere in the biblical record does it seem that Jesus was in a hurry. Instead, Jesus seemed to trust that his Father’s timing was perfect. This made me reflect on something about myself. Do I have enough faith in God to know deep within my heart and soul that God’s timing in my life is perfect?
Sure, there are things I have a degree of control over. There are aspects of life that I need to plan and work toward. Yet, many of the things I bring to the Lord in prayer are out of my control. I can’t determine the timing, or even if they will come to pass. It’s particularly important that I learn to trust God the Father in the same way that Jesus did regarding the aspects of life that I cannot control. I need to understand that behind the scenes, God knows what is best.
As I contemplated this further, I was reminded of one of my favorite portions of Scripture. Psalm 27 has comforted me numerous times through my life. Although the entire Psalm speaks to me in various ways, I often find myself focusing on the final verse. In the ESV, Psalm 27:14 reads:
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
For me, these few words are packed with life-transforming meaning. When I read them, my sense is that the Lord would have me continue to serve and love Him and others as he directs, that is, “to be strong and let my heart take courage,” and while doing so I am to wait on his timing for the things in life over which I have no control. I am to trust in His timing, His leading, and His provision.
To live life trusting that God’s timing is perfect is not easy. And yet, my sense is that to the degree we can do so, we grow in our faith, and we bring joy and honor to our King. May the Lord grant that you and I can learn this lesson from the life of Jesus, and in doing so grow ever closer to the One we trust. Amen!