By: Gail Armatys, Heartsong Life Purpose Coach
Sunday afternoons, when the weather cooperates, I like to take a nap on my hammock. Not long, just enough time to actually feel myself relax, close my eyes, and if all goes well, rest at some level.
One of my favorite things to do before closing my eyes includes listening to the birds sing, the breeze blow through the leaves, the deep and gentle song of the wind chimes and the sound of … (ahem) the neighbor’s blower not blowing, the weed eater no longer eating, and the power washer not washing!
I’m serious. Somehow, the announcement goes out to the neighborhood that I plan to hang out in the hammock because that’s when every man-made tool revs up to mow, blow, cut, torch, hack or saw. Not that I am against all that, it’s that the timing of this multi-mechanical chorus hits its high-note just when I’m hoping to do a slow fade. This happens so frequently that it is almost comical.
So the other day while on my hammock listening to this 3-part garage band harmony, I thought to myself, “It’s like this in life, too.” With our plans, I mean. We think we have all the details worked out for our day, week, month, quarter, year, and life. Yet, things change and our plans somehow begin singing a different tune. The timing is off. That is, our timing is off. God’s timing is not.
Let’s start at the beginning
In God’s eminent plan, timing plays a crucial role. Throughout scripture, he is not only very specific about revealing his plans for his people, he is also clear about the timing.
Take chapter one of Genesis, (I did say, ‘the beginning’). God has a precise order to his creation. There is a time for everything.
- Verse 3: Let there be light.
- Verse 6: Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.
- Verse 9: Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.
- Verse 11: Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.
Ultimately, God creates man and woman who then tend the garden he created previously. It was necessary for his creation to be made in this order so that the human race survived. But, there’s more.
In the stories of old, God tells Abraham and Joshua (to name just two) not only what to do, but when to do it. “Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day” (Ex 12:3). “When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout…” (Josh 6:5).
And in the New Testament: After three days they found him in the temple courts…
(Luke 2:46) After fasting for 40 days and 40 nights…(Matt 4:2) “After three days I will rise again.” (Mt 27:63) “…and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” (Acts 17:27)
You get the picture. Scripture, both Old and New, make it clear that timing matters.
Now let’s bring it back home. Think about the importance of timing in our lives: in music, stoplights, races, project commencement and completion, joke telling, planting, harvesting, napping :), speaking, and silence. The right timing is crucial. God, who determined the exact time and order of creation and the timing of battles, sacrifice, birth – and everything in between reveals that he cares about right timing.
So what does timing have to do with your God-ordained purpose?
There is a pattern, order, and organization to our lives. When we move forward in our own time and determination, we stray from God’s pre-determined path – the best path.
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11
On our own, we often make wrong choices and we extend the time it would have otherwise taken for us to complete a certain task, goal or plan because of our self-determined (or substitute the word prideful here) detour.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
As a result, we struggle, perhaps miss some joy along the way, and get to go through training (oh, great) until we understand whatever God wants us to learn that will get us back on track…back on the path of our life’s purpose.
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
Now, I have to ask, “Are you trying to make things happen in your time and in your way? Or, are you waiting on God?”
To which you respond, “Maybe I am – maybe I’m not. How do I know?”
Thanks for asking…
- Ask God if the timing is right for that new project, job, relationship, etc.
- Continue to worship.
- Review your past experiences. What direction do they point you?
- Seek and listen to godly wisdom.
- Serve others and walk in obedience while you wait.
- Pay attention to opportunities and closed doors.
- Spend time in scripture.
- Wait. The answer will come.
Lord, you know me so well that you see when I am heading the wrong direction and you love me so much that you let me make this choice. Increase my faith and open my eyes as you give me signs, encouragement, and direction. I know that ‘there is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven’*. Forgive my impatience as I draw near to you and wait for your timing. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.
Now, please excuse me while I head to my hammock and await my serenade.
Listen to your HeartSong Here!
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Live the song written on your heart.