“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you…” (2 Peter 3:8-9, NIV)
On Wednesday mornings, I wake up early to attend my 6:45AM men’s small group. During the summertime, this means I’m getting up earlier than everyone else in my house.
As I was walking out, my daughter woke up crying. She’s the early riser in our house and we’ve been trying to teach her about getting out of bed and playing in her room until mommy or daddy come to get her. But because she’s not been feeling well lately, I went to check on her.
Nothing was wrong, she simply was done sleeping and wanted to come out. The problem was, Tanya was still sleeping and wasn’t planning to wake up for another 30 minutes. The makings of a battle of the wills.
After 15 minutes of whining and crying, she was successful in waking up the rest of the house. I arrived to my group 15 minutes late.
As a dad of two preschoolers, lots of things conspire to make me late. Things that are outside my control.
But the longer I walk with Christ and the more I work with men in recovery, the more I realize God is never late – no matter what my impression is of His timeliness from my point of view.
A few cases in point:
After reading Psalm 90:17 a few weeks ago, I prayed for God to establish the work of my hands, just as Moses did. This prayer was mostly related to the reestablishment of my business, which has been in transition since our family relocation just under two years ago and I began providing coaching services virtually by phone and video conference.
Honestly, I had forgotten all about the prayer. Then on Sunday, another similar verse was referenced in the sermon that reminded me of that prayer. I realized that, in the past few weeks, God has brought along multiple new opportunities for work, most recently yesterday. At that time, I spontaneously prayed under my breath, “God, what are you up to?”
The response was swift and clear in my spirit: “I’m doing what you asked, establishing the work of your hands.” I had hoped for His provision a year ago; For His reasons, God waited until now.
Then there was the recent coaching call where it was clear that what my client needed to hear was the message I received in my quiet time that morning, a quiet time I really wasn’t motivated to have in the first place. I can’t tell you the number of times a scenario like this has played out, where God provides through my personal time with Him just ahead of the need.
These are only two of many I could include of examples. But these are just the ones where I’m able to see the end result of how God finally comes through.
What about my showing up to my men’s group 15 minutes late, the phone call with the client that’s tense and ends unresolved, the lingering medical concerns we have for our son?
Big or small, I’m learning to trust God’s timing on the things I don’t understand by seeing them through the lens of those that I do understand. Perhaps this is part of the reason why God allows us to see the end result in some cases but not all. When we’re able to see how it works in certain circumstances, it allows us to re-frame His lateness into “pending faithfulness” on the circumstances we’ve yet to see resolution.
By the way, I should mention one more thing. I try my best to send out these articles on Tuesdays. Today is Wednesday.
Regardless, I choose to trust that, by God’s calendar, this article gets to you right on time.