GOD HAS A "PROPER TIME," BUT WE'RE LOOKING FOR A SPEEDY "HARVEST".
LET US NOT BECOME WEARY IN DOING GOOD, FOR AT THE PROPER TIME WE WILL REAP A HARVEST IF WE DO NOT GIVE UP.
We want our grub, and we want it now!
...Please. We’re a society of drive-thrus and delivery—divorced from the processes of so many of our experiences. Most of us don’t plant, tend, or harvest anything we eat. We don’t wait for vacation to see distant loved ones, we FaceTime them. We order from Amazon, and have it delivered in a day. I’m not saying it’s all bad. Hey, pizza delivery is a regular joy for this busy mama! I just want to point out that our daily experiences impact our expectations—and even our disappointments—when it comes to God's timing. Our verse tells us that “at the proper time we will reap a harvest.” But that “proper time” doesn’t always gel with OUR timing. You see, when it comes to what God “delivers,” a long or uncertain “wait time” can feel maddening, because the goods he delivers are a whole lot more important than freaky fast sandwiches.
So, let me share my most recent experience with waiting on God’s “proper” timing.
I’m in over my head right now in a specific circumstance, and I need a counselor. If you listen to our podcast, you’ve heard me (and Vera) say it over and over: There are times that we simply need professional counseling. Ain’t no shame in it! And that’s where I am right now. I need someone to guide me through some sticky things and help me get unstuck. I need someone with wisdom and training and practical solutions. Finding the right person to do that was excruciatingly slooooooow, then I was put on a two month wait list—two months! Meanwhile, the need only increased. So, I called three times, checking for cancellations. Finally, in my frustration, I cried out to God, “How long, O Lord!?!?”—pouring out my frustration at this long wait. And he answered with this verse, “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you’” (Isaiah 40:13). He said, “Natalie, let me help you.” So far, I hadn’t asked for that, not from him. So, I prayed for God to help me, and I picked up the phone. This time, I got a person right away, and that person sent me to the counselor’s voicemail. Only, I didn’t get her voicemail, I got her! And she scheduled me for THAT SAME DAY. No more waiting. God helped me, right then and there, giving me precisely what I’d asked for. I was reminded of this valuable truth: God is the Lord of schedules and phone calls, and he is the one who orchestrates every good exception. His gracious answer and perfect timing weren’t lost on me. I was amazed.
On the podcastMeet our friend, Katie Guiliano from Hosanna Revival! Katie and her team create beautiful bibles, journals, and other resources that you're going to love hearing about! On today's podcast, Katie and I are talking more about Galatians 6:9.
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But his timing doesn’t usually work that way.
While I can attest that God sometimes shows me his intimate care by giving me a quick, obvious answer to prayer, most of the time this isn’t my experience. Rather, I find myself waiting and waiting. Often, I get frustrated with his timing. But that’s on me, because our verse tells us that his timing is always perfect. It says that we can expect a good harvest (or results) from our good works “at the proper time.” Now, there are boundless verses to quote on the perfections of God’s timing, but for brevity's sake, I’ll remind you of two. God’s “understanding has no limit” (Psalm 147:5) and his “ways are right” (Hosea 14:9). If he knows every possible outcome and his ways are always right, surely we can trust his course of action and his timing. Great. We’re done here, right? Nope. We still struggle in the waiting, even if we know the right answers. So, how do we live out our good theology of God’s perfect timing?
How do we wait well?
I’ve often found that waiting on God draws out my false gods of self-reliance, comfort, and convenience, because they're really not doing it for me anymore. I know that sounds like a bad thing, and I guess it is. But it’s better to get it out then to hold it in. When I’m waiting on God’s timing, it’s like seeing my true self in the mirror. I see all of the ways I’ve avoided him. I recognize the foolishness of thinking I have anything under control. It may be ugly, but that’s what I see in the mirror of waiting. And honestly, it’s a good thing for me to come to grips with. You see, God doesn’t hold the mirror up to my face to shame me; he does it to help me see my need for him and to draw me into his warm embrace. He reminds me that his plans are good and that he’s in control. He teaches me how to trust him in the long process of waiting, and I am drawn into closer relationship with him.
And this sets me free.
Once I come to terms with God’s timing, I’m set free from anxiously worrying over results, or as our verse would put it, experiencing the harvest. I recognize that those results are really up to God, and I can trust that the harvest is coming, because he says it is. And the honest truth is, I won’t see all of the results of the seeds I plant in this lifetime. But, when I’m confident in God’s perfect timing, I don’t have to fret about it. I can trust that his perspective is limitless and his ways are always right. I can let God be God. As for me, I can trust that the harvest WILL come and that every good seed I plant will bear fruit. So, I won’t grow weary in doing good, because at the proper time (God’s perfect time), I will reap a harvest if I don’t give up!
How does knowing that God's understanding is limitless and his ways are good help you trust his timing?
What does "waiting well" look like for you?
Thanks for reading,
Meet Natalie,Dwell co-founder
Hi there, I'm Natalie. I'm so glad you're here. I'd love to connect with you and hear more about what God is doing in your life!