Does God know the meaning of early?

One of my pet peeves with God is that He doesn’t share my pleasure in getting things done early. When He works He enjoys what He does, without concern for whether it fits in the schedule of anyone else. If we have a problem with His apparent slowness, then we will have to learn patience because He won’t adjust His pace for us. He doesn’t wait for us to approve the way He’s doing things.

God likes getting things done on time, not before time. I don’t understand that. To me, when I beat the shadow of a deadline in its maturing, I feel worthy of a medal. Time, with its limits and seasons define what I can do and how I can do it. Time gives me limits and I don’t like those limits–so I try to disprove its power to contain me.

But, when God manages time, He does not need to do special tricks to demonstrate that time is something He can beat. Time has never been something that threatened God. He can make it contain whatever He wants it to . He has no need to get ahead of time, He already is. Time waits on Him to know what it should be and so do we.

Perhaps we should consider time as one more blessing in our lives to humble us before God, to remind us of His majesty and preeminence in our world. Time stands at attention before Him and because this is so, we need not worry about the ways time affects us. If God is ultimately the One who rules time, we need not fight over how He manages it. We may confidently and contentedly exist in time, knowing that He who exists outside of time is our greatest Ally.

What are your fears regarding time–do you worry that you do not have enough of it or do you have reason to feel that God’s plans leave you with too much extra time on your hands?

12 thoughts on “Does God know the meaning of early?

  1. When I began this novel revision, I thought I’d be done in less than 3 months. 17 months later, I’m still going through it. I have no trouble believing in God’s timing when I’m not able to control it (it will happen when He says it will happen). Now I’m having to keep faith in His timing as the revision process *I’m doing* takes longer and longer. I have to remember that the editor said, “Send it when it’s ready”, that God didn’t set the deadline, I did, that I just need to report for duty each day and do the best that He gave me the ability to. Beyond that, everything else is up to Him.

    1. Wow. I can so identify. Thanks for sharing what you have going on in your life. That is definitely a major alteration of your expectations. It’s nice to know that the publisher said to take the time it needs to revise, but taking so long to get something done can sure leave you ripe for temptations regarding your “fit-ness” for the task. I’ll pray for you that God would continue to make you aware of how He is shedding grace on you through this process. πŸ™‚

  2. “taking so long to get something done can sure leave you ripe for temptations regarding your β€œfit-ness” for the task.”
    Amen. Never thought of it that way – definitely explains a lot of what I’ve gone through over the last year. Thanks!

  3. When I was younger had patience of a saint, could wait for anything and rarely worried over most of my tasks. Now when it came to me speaking in groups and so forth yes I had nervous break downs but in all other areas was good at waiting. Somewhere down the line this has slipped away and the more I stress over it the longer it takes for answers. Do I realize this and shut up? No! Because I won’t the Lord is working quite a bit in this area…lol

  4. It was nine years ago this week that I last directed a camp of 200 teens and felt the Spirit’s leading to leave my most “successful” ministry. As I sat in melancholic reflection that final day, a teenage girl approached to ask what was wrong. I told her that I had placed my entire identity in finding affirmation in this one thing and wondered if it even mattered. She replied, “If most people did as much for Christ in a lifetime as you have by 24, they would consider themselves blessed.”

    This story paints an accurate picture concerning my struggle against time. While peers were getting married, finding real jobs, and settling into family life, I was investing every last second in the lives of kids that have since “surpassed” my life situation as well. A jealous part of me grieves the fact that I can never have those years back to meet my own needs, yet my honest self admits that I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I exited my youth without a single worldly blessing and my Father wants me to take joy in the obedience.

    It’s been tough. I can’t make myself young, innocent, and attractive again. I must trust that the less glamorous work over these past nine years has advanced the Kingdom beyond the luxury of my own sight. Pursuing holiness and freedom in Christ has required twice the time that I needed to climb the ministry ladder, and sometimes I wonder why God is having me live my life in reverse. I’m still too young to give up hope for the desires I sacrificed in my twenties, but I get caught in the trap of perceiving a loss of my usefulness, having once been useful to a fault. What if He would have me rest in Him for the remainder of my days without visible assurance of fruit? What if my “greater” days are behind me?

    I see the spiritual lie in this. When I perceive His purposes according to time. I falsely conclude the method and rhythm He must adopt to fulfill His plan. In reality, it is His understanding that determines perfect timing rather than the converse. Who am I to criticize if He chooses to give me a son at 90?

    1. Wow, A.W. There are definitely intense elements of your walk with God so far. I’m sure it has not been lacking in difficulty. I am sorry for the disappointments you’ve experienced and the doubts you still face. I do want you to know, though, that your obedience is not lost in obscurity. God’s plan is accomplishing great dividends. One way I know this is that your example is a comfort to me. I have struggled with some of the same things and hearing what you have said helps me to know that I’m not the only one experiencing tension because of obedience. It is possible to wants to serve God with everything we have and at the same time feel fear regarding how God will handle the outcome.

      1. Yeah, I don’t want to give the impression that it’s all bad. πŸ™‚ While the killing of flesh is never the most pleasant exercise in life, God also grants us the privilege of His intimate presence in our lives, and I know that neither of us would trade that for anything.

        As for my example being a comfort — likewise, Elaine. πŸ™‚ [1 Kings 19:18]

  5. Well said! I often comment that God’s favorite word for me is “wait”. For years I wanted a daughter…finally at age 39 I gave birth to our dear beloved one. Although “wait” is not my favorite word – I know that his will is best! He doesn’t always say “yes” but, for me, he sure likes to say “wait”. Waiting on the Lord. ~ Wendy

    1. I certainly don’t always understand why God says “wait” which is one of His favorite things to say to me too. But, I love that He cares for us through it all anyway–often in ways that we would never have expected Him to be capable of! So glad He gave you your precious daugher. πŸ™‚

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