Perfect Timing

We were on our honeymoon (just a few short years ago) when we walked into the lobby of a show we wanted to see. The lady at the ticket counter looked at us, smiled, and said, "Perfect timing, folks. The next show is starting in just a few minutes." Actually, it was more like fifteen or twenty minutes, but we bought our tickets and looked around the lobby.

Several minutes later, as an earlier show let out, another couple walked into the lobby. As if on cue, the lady behind the ticket counter looked at them, smiled, and said "Perfect timing, folks. The last show is just letting out and the next one is getting ready to start!" We quickly realized that the only kind of timing at that theater was "perfect timing," especially when it involved selling tickets.

As believers, we sometimes talk about Godís "perfect timing." I heard a radio ad for a Christian service which tries to pair up singles. But in a disclaimer near the end, the ad reminded listeners that finding a mate "must depend on Godís perfect timing."

So if Godís timing is so perfect, why does it sometimes seem to be so slow? I never hear people complaining that "God has blessed me with so much, so quickly that I just canít handle it all." I do hear people lamenting how slow God seems to be in answering prayers or dealing with problems in their lives. We want God to deal with things A.S.A.P. and we can't understand why he sometimes takes so long.

Consider the situation with Godís people in the book of Exodus. God was leading them into the Promised Land, and he was describing how easy it would be for them to take it over: "I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run. I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites out of your way." (Exodus 23:27-28, NIV) In other words, even though they would fight battles along the way, God would GUARANTEE them victory. And then, God gives them this explanation for why it would take so long: "But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you until you have increased enough to take possession of the land." (v. 29-30) In other words, it was for their own good that God gave them the land gradually. God knew just how much they could handle, and he delivered the land as they became ready for it.

Sometimes, Godís "slowness" is for our own good. Sometimes, in our over-confidence, we ask for too much, too soon, and God knows that the result for us would be disastrous. Sometimes, Godís perfect timing is slower than what we want; yet in his wisdom, God gives us, not what we want, but what we need. If God seems slow in answering prayers, remember that he knows what you need, as well as when you need it, even before you know that you need it in the first place.

Godís way is just "Perfect timing, folks."

[ Author Unknown -- from Mark Phillips ]


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