Enjoying God's Timing
Once we love God, our biggest struggle, it seems, is discerning what He is saying to us or wants us to do. Psalm 19:1-4a says,
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”
God speaks in the heavens. He speaks in His Word. He speaks throughout His creation. He spoke the world into being, and there is no speech or language where His voice is not heard. He speaks, but do we comprehend?
We want to know what God wants us to do, but we aren’t quite sure we are doing it. It seems a common spiritual condition to be confused or left in the dark while trying to figure out exactly what it is God is saying to us. God may start a subject and then wait a while until He tells us the rest of the message. God doesn’t always tell us what He wants in the timing that makes sense to us. The worst thing we can do when we find ourselves in this place with God is to push forward and try to make something happen. Believe me, I have learned this lesson well by personal experience, and I can assure you it doesn’t help you know and do the will of God. I take that back; in a way, it does—as you hit bottom and cry out to Him when you start over!
I share the struggle to know God’s exact will for my life with everyone I talk to who loves God. I bet all of us have felt out of touch with having a certainty of God’s direction. That’s why it amazed me today as I was reading in God’s word and came to suspect that I share this struggle with Jesus, too. It shouldn’t really surprise me because God’s Word says that He is familiar with all my struggles (Hebrews 4:15), but it hit me anew as I was reading John 13:1.
“It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.”
Now, I can’t be positive that Jesus didn’t know from the moment He left heaven that this specific Passover was the one when He would die on the cross. I do know for certain that He doesn’t know the day that He will come back to earth to take us all home (Matt. 24:36). So, as I read this verse, it made me think that perhaps He lived on this earth more like us. He didn’t have a direct face-to-face relationship with God, just like we don’t. Although He knew God, while He lived as a man He was forced to see God through a glass dimly and not face-to-face, just like us (1 Cor. 13:12). My theory is supported when I read that the Gospel records many instances when Jesus became aware that God wanted Him to show His glory through miracles. He didn’t seem to go to a certain place with a predetermined plan. He seemed, like us, to be sensing God’s will as it was revealed in God’s timing.
I read John 13:1 to say that as Jesus traveled to Jerusalem for this Passover (a regular occurrence while Jesus was on earth – see Luke 2:41, John 2:13, 11:55), He began to sense in His Spirit that this would be the year. The knowledge that this was God’s time for Him came to His awareness, just as it does for me, just at the time I need to know. Jesus seemed able to leave the knowing for sure in God’s hands and follow what was placed before Him. He learned the next truth in God’s timing, too.
I want to surrender to God’s timing like Jesus did. I don’t need to know the future, and I’m sure I couldn’t handle knowing it anyway. I will live one day at a time. God will let me know at the right time. I can trust in that – like Jesus.