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God's Word Applied

God's Timing: God's Ways

by Kathleen Whitten

 

  • A friend sent me this email:
    A young man once asked God how long a million years was to Him.
  • God replied, "A million years to me is just like a single second to you."
  • The young man asked God what a million dollars was to Him...
  • God replied, "A million dollars to me is just like a single penny to you."
  • Then the young man got his courage up and asked, "God, could I have one of your pennies?"
  • God smiled and replied, "Certainly…just a second…"

*****
This email joke illustrates a very important point: God’s timing is not our timing!

God’s timing is not like human timing at all. For example, many Christians believed that Christ would quickly return to earth after His first appearing, but it has been over two-thousand years, and He still hasn’t come.

Two-thousand years is approximately twenty-two to thirty generations. That’s a long time to wait. Yet the Bible indicates Christ is returning soon. So we can only conclude that soon to us is not soon to God.

And, on the other hand, late to us is not late to God. For example, Hebrews 10:37 says that Jesus will return and “not tarry.” (The thesaurus says that tarry means to wait, stay, loiter, dally, linger, or put off.)

In our human understanding, waiting for over two-thousand years is definitely putting something off!

So why has it been 2,000 years, and Christ has yet to return?

Because our timing is not God’s timing!

Seconds to God may be years to us, and alternately a life-time to us can be a mere breath of time to God. So sometimes God’s timing can seem too short, but usually God’s timing seems to take too long!

Have you been waiting for God to do something for a long, long time? Does it seem like it will never happen? Maybe you are waiting to meet one true friend that really understands you. Maybe you are waiting to find the right person to date. Maybe you are waiting for God to help you make a very important decision. Maybe you are waiting to see what God wants you to do with your life. Maybe you are waiting to be healed.

Maybe you have grown tired of waiting and negative thoughts have come to your mind such as: “Maybe I’ll never get what I have been waiting for.”

Maybe you are close to giving up…

God has something to tell you:

“…Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, ‘He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.’”
(Hebrews 10:35-38 NIV)


God is telling us (and we are His children that He sent His Son to die for) to keep trusting Him even while we wait.

God’s timing is very different than our timing. His ways are different than our ways. As a matter of fact, the Bible says God’s timing and His ways are not only different than ours, they are also higher than ours.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV)

Higher is Hebrew is the word, hhbg gabahh {gaw-bah'} - meaning more exalted and more excellent.

So if we replaced the word higher (hhbg) in the scripture with more exalted and more excellent then the passage in Isaiah 55:8-9 would read: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are (more exalted and more excellent) than the earth, so are My ways (more exalted and more excellent) than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

What is God telling us? That we’ll always understand His ways?

No.

God is telling us His ways are more exalted and more excellent than our ways. And He is telling us His timing is different than our timing (Isaiah 55:8-9), but if we hold on and trust Him then our “confidence will be richly rewarded and we will receive what He has promised.” (Hebrews 10:35-38 NIV)

Several years ago I wrote this little true story.

“The Bus Stop”

Yesterday, Mattie (my five-year-old) went out to the bus stop near our house at the regular time: 7:40 a.m. and waited for the bus. I was in a hurry, I had to meet the contractor at 8:15, needed to shower, return a lot of phone calls, and then go to Bible study.

We waited for the bus, and we waited for the bus. No bus. I began to wonder, "Did the bus come really early and I missed it?" That couldn't be. The bus always came about 7:50, but it was past 8:00, and we had waited (with mud all around for Mattie to get into) for over thirty minutes.

"This is ridiculous!" I was getting nervous, so I thought I would just take her to school, and then I remembered I didn't have keys to my husband
Lacey's car. He had taken my Tahoe to pick up fertilizer for the yard. That made me really frustrated. I became irked at him for taking my car and not leaving me the keys.

We waited a little longer:
I paced; Mattie swung.
I mumbled; Mattie hummed.

I decided I had to know if we had missed the bus. So I told Mattie to stay where she was, and I jogged up three or four blocks to see if any other people were waiting. They were all gone! I began to jog back in a huff. I thought, "I got up at 5:00 a.m. so my busy, busy day would run smoothly! I
didn't plan for this! How could the bus come early and leave Mattie? What is going on? Where is Lacey when I need him? Why is Mattie in the mud? What if I don't have time to talk to the contractor?"

While mulling this over, two blocks from home I see the trusty yellow school bus pull up to our curb, and Mattie waves and steps on. The people at the next stop were gone, because they thought they had been left and drove to
school.

Instantly the Holy Spirit said to me, "I will never leave you or forsake you! You will not miss the bus unless you walk away from the bus stop. Sometimes I will appear early and sometimes I will appear late, but I will always be on My time. You can wait patiently and in peace, or you can wait anxiously and worry. But know that I will never ever leave you at the bus stop. I will always come for you to take you where you need to be."

God was speaking to me so clearly about waiting to receive 100% healing from chronic back pain from the metal rod in my spine. The devil had been saying, "It has been twenty years of excruciating pain. What makes you think God is going to show up now?" And I had begun to lose hope and faith.

But God has done so many miracles in my life: healed of leukemia! Fulfilling my desire to be Christian speaker! A wonderful family! Incredible friends! He has always come through for me!

Wait at the bus stop. Swing. Hum. Enjoy the green grass and the blue sky. Give God your schedule. Give God your dreams. Give God your pain.

He is coming. And He is always on His time.


****
You see, almost exactly twenty years ago, doctors had to put a full-length stainless steel rod and two hooks in my spine because of scoliosis. Not one day went by from age thirteen to age thirty-four that I did not experience moderate to severe pain.

For twenty years, including the time I wrote “The Bus Stop,” my back hurt severely day and night. I went to many doctors, prayed, and fasted and was anointed with oil in order to be healed.

For twenty years.

Until a special small prayer group I am in began to fervently pray for answers. Several months later, we were able to remove the upper hook from my spine and do a series of epidural steroid injections to block nerve pain. I am so much better—it was worth the wait!

God’s timing is not our timing. His ways are not our ways. But I am so thankful to Him!

My back is still fused (although I can bend my neck), and I still am uncomfortable sitting. But I am trusting God to take care of all that too—and any problem that comes my way.

People have speculated for generations why certain things happen. I feel secure in saying, “I don’t know.”

I feel secure in believing Isaiah 55:8-9—that God’s ways are more excellent than mine—and I could give countless examples in my life and the lives of other Believers where God looked like He wasn’t working, but He was. And the end result was unspeakable joy!

Pray:
Dear Heavenly Father, I choose to trust You today. I choose to trust You with what I cannot see. I choose to trust You when all looks lost. I choose to trust You when I am in pain. I choose to trust You when my heart is broken.

Jesus, I desperately need Your strength, courage and love. I am an Overcomer because of You. I overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”) And I trust You to help me overcome all the negative situations in my life.

Holy Spirit, please minister to me Your peace so I can wait on the perfect timing of God and trust in His ways, knowing they are above my own. Amen.

Believe:
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” (Hebrews 10:35-38 NIV)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV)

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)

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