My oldest granddaughter loves the movie The Nativity Story. In the span of a few days at my house she watched it through twice. It is a beautiful telling of the story of the birth of Christ. What it does not do is romanticize or cover up the reality of the circumstances that Christ was born into. The Romans were oppressive in their rule over and taxation of the Jews. The Jews' own king, Herod, was wicked and corrupt. Smack dab into the middle of that mess, Father God decided that it was the now moment for His Son to be born.
Does God's timing frustrate you? It sure does me! It seems that He always takes longer than I'd like Him to take. And why is it that He seems to love to do things at inconvenient times? I'm sure if I could answer all of the questions we have about God's timing that I'd be able to write a best seller.
The truth of the matter is, trusting God with the timing of things in our lives is one of the hardest, but most important areas for us to learn to trust Him. It's important to pray for and trust God's will in our lives, but we should also pray for and trust His timing.
Our three daughters have all suffered in the area of deferred answers to prayer. Our oldest daughter struggled with infertility and miscarriage for ten years. Our second born daughter had a life long desire to live on the mission field in West Africa. Our youngest daughter struggled with a desire to meet the man God had for her and to be married. As parents, it was excruciating to watch our children pray and wait and wait and wait. It was harder than waiting for answers to prayer we were still praying for ourselves. Eleven years after they were married, our oldest daughter gave birth to her firstborn daughter, and two years later another baby girl. Our second born eventually did get to live on the mission field, but not for the extended amount of time that her heart desired. In God's wisdom, He brought her and her husband and their two oldest children, theirs through the miracle of adoption, back home where they would form teams to go into Ghana, West Africa on a regular basis. Shortly after facing the disappointment of God closing the doors for them to live in Ghana permanently, our daughter conceived for the first time in thirteen years of marriage, a desire my daughter had secretly held unspoken in her heart. When he was born, they named their son, Nehemiah, which means our God comforts. Our youngest daughter was married at age thirty two. She met the man God had for her through a miraculous set of circumstances too long to go into here. They are now expecting their first baby.
Trusting God's will, especially when His will is not our will, as our second born daughter experienced, is hard and heart wrenching. Yet, only God in His wisdom saw that while He was closing one door, she would experience her "fullness of time" moment in another area. God's ways often don't make sense to us. His timing is another mystery. Yet, in His perfect love, He knows exactly what He is doing in our lives and the exact right timing for it. His word promises us that we will never lack any beneficial thing. Our job is to wait with trusting expectation for His fullness of time. It's not a fluke that two of the main characters in the birth of Jesus, as told in Luke chapter two, are Simeon and Anna who waited expectantly for the promised Messiah. In God's fullness of time they saw Him with their own eyes and touched Him with their own hands. The waiting was worth it. You and I have to trust that our waiting will be worth it, too.