Friday, June 24, 2011

In The Fullness of Time

He hath made everything beautiful in His time....Ecclesiastes 3:11

My mom cross-stitched this verse for me when I was very small. Maybe a baby, I'm really not sure. All I know is that I've had it for as long as I can remember. It's become a life verse for me, as it has has meant different things to me at different times, and probably always will. These days it's the last word that has me thinking. Time.

Not just any time, or anybody's time, but His time. I'll spare you the cliches on God's calendar not matching ours and all that rigmarole. They're very true but we all know them. Let me try to be original.

I've been wrestling with time and His time for awhile now. I feel frustrated and disappointed about my life right now. It seems that nothing is going according to plan. Things are taking longer to get accomplished or to change. I'm getting burned out and tired from the struggle to get through each day. I'm spending more and more time shaking my fist at Heaven.

And then I get clobbered with some Truth. I use a capital 'T' because it seems to me that truth from Heaven is worthy of some capitalization. God's truth should be a proper noun. And the Truth of the matter is that God's time takes far more into consideration than just me, or just the people around me. God's time takes all of eternity into account. This seems obvious, something we all know, but it's something we can all take for granted if we're not paying attention.

The specific situation in my life has been this struggle to have children. I look at every month that goes by as a big fat 'no', a big fat failure, a big fat disappointment. This morning, I discovered, that God sees it as another month closer to the fullness of His time. Another month closer to the goal.

The fact of the matter is that while Curtis and I want to be parents, it's just not God's time. And it's not that we're not ready, good enough, or deserving. It may be that God needs this baby to be born or to come into our care at a later date. God already has plans for this child and the first part of that plan is his/her conception. It all must fit.

If God had given Isaac to Abraham & Sarah fifty years earlier, Rebekah wouldn't have been there for Isaac to marry. And without her there'd be no Jacob & Esau, no Uncle Laban for Jacob to run to, no Rachel and Leah for him to marry. The whole Old Testament unravels.

If God had let Rachel get pregnant right away, would Joseph have been the treasured son? And if Joseph wasn't favored, his brothers wouldn't have sold him into slavery. And without Joseph's ultimate success in Egypt, the tribes of Israel would've perished in the famine.

If God had given Hannah her precious son, Samuel, the first time she'd asked for a child, she wouldn't have dedicated him to the Lord. And if Samuel hadn't been given back to the Lord and lived with Eli in the temple, he wouldn't have become a priest. And if Samuel hadn't become a priest, who would've anointed both Saul and David? Who would've spoken Truth to Israels' first king?

If God had given Elizabeth and Zechariah their son, John, earlier in life he could not have really prepared the way for Jesus. Their ministries had to overlap. If John had been born sooner, who would've baptized Jesus?

God had a specific plan for Isaac, Joseph, Samuel, and John. Their parents had to wait, suffer even, before finally getting the child they so wanted. Sarah, Hannah, and Elizabeth all praised God, fully acknowledging that their sons had been born in the fullness of God's time in accordance with His will and His plan. Rachel did not, and died trying to have another child. It seems to me that is significant.

Waiting for God's timing isn't easy. Ever. But I have to change my perspective. I have to remember it's not just my life I'm praying about, it's the life of my future child. And God has a plan for that child,  more significant and eternal than any dream of mine. I need to be grateful for God's timing, and look forward to the moment when His plan and mine finally converge. In the fullness of time, everything will be beautiful.

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