When I was pregnant with my first child, I had to read a number of books about pregnancy…books like “What to Expect While You Are Expecting” and “Your Pregnancy Week by Week.” These books helped me because I had no clue about counting weeks and the different development stages of my baby leading up to my due date. My first son came one day after my due date while my second son arrived 9 days early. In our world of calendars and clocks, we can get so caught up with this concept of time. In my eyes, my 1st son was late and my 2nd son was early…but in God’s eyes they were both on time!
Our concept of time is certainly not the same as God’s concept of time because God is the creator of time and His timing is perfect! Would you expect his timing to be anything less than perfect from a God who is perfect himself?
The word “perfect” is defined as “excellent or complete beyond improvement, without flaws, accurate in every detail.” Sure sounds like our God! …Doesn’t it? When it comes to God’s perfect timing, he is never early, never late and ALWAYS on time!!!!
I know waiting on God is never easy…praying is one thing, waiting another! I know it can be hard at times when you are believing and waiting on God to answer your prayers. You can be believing for a new job, a healing in your body, a Godly man to propose (to all you single ladies in waiting out there…and yes, I did say Godly man), or a child to be conceived. Or maybe you are praying for guidance in making life decisions such as when to buy a house, when to change jobs/careers, when to move to another location. The list of what we are praying, believing, and waiting for can go on and on!
The story of Joseph in Genesis 37, 39-50 is a great example of God’s timing… timing that is not early but perfect!
To summarize…Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. He was sold in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials who was the captain of the guard. Joseph found favor in the eyes of Potiphar because Potiphar could see that the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in everything he did. Through everything Joseph went through, the bible says over and over that “the Lord was with Joseph” Genesis 39:2
Now Joseph winds up in jail after being falsely accused of making a move on Potiphar’s wife. Even in prison, Joseph found favor in the Lord’s eyes and was put in charge of the prisoners which specifically included 2 individuals…the cupbearer and the baker who offended their master, the king of Egypt. These 2 men had dreams one night and God had given Joseph the ability to interpret the dreams. Basically the dreams meant that within 3 days, the cupbearer would be restored to his position as the king’s cupbearer and within 3 days, the baker would be hung on a tree and killed. And within 3 days, everything Joseph said happened proving his interpretations to be true.
After Joseph interpreted the cupbearer’s dream he asked him, “But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness, mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.” Genesis 40:14
Unfortunately, the cupbearer did not remember Joseph and Joseph remained in prison for 2 more years!!! If I were Joseph, I would be pretty upset…wouldn’t you?!
But God’s timing is never early…you see if God had rescued Joseph from prison at that time because of what the cupbearer told the king, Joseph would be put back into his original position as Potphar’s servant. But God allowed 2 years to pass because God had something much greater in store for Joseph even though Joseph didn’t know it!
Joseph was remembered years later by the cupbearer when Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had a dream that no one could interpret. The cupbearer mentioned Joseph’s name to Pharaoh and how accurate his interpretations were while they were in prison. Pharaoh called upon Joseph from prison and God once again gave Joseph favor and the ability to interpret the king’s dream. The king’s dream had very specific instructions for the land of Egypt to survive the great famine they would face in the near future. Joseph was then rewarded for interpreting the king’s dream.
Because of God’s perfect timing, Joseph was placed 2nd in command over all of Egypt! Can you believe that? He went from Potiphar’s servant, to prison, to being in charge over all of Egypt.
“So Pharaoh said to Joseph ‘I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.'” Genesis 41:41
Sometimes when we doubt God’s timing and feel that we have done enough waiting, we may not necessarily see the big picture just like Joseph. We have such limited views of our lives. God knows the beginning and the end and everything in between. He may not answer you too early because he has something much greater in store for you!
God’s timing is perfect and his timing is never late. Another example of God’s perfect timing is in John 11: 1-44 in the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead.
Lazarus had become very sick and his sisters Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus to come quickly to them. At this time Jesus was with his disciples and he told them “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory, so that God’s son may be glorified though it.” John 11:4 NIV
What is crazy is that Jesus loved Lazarus, Mary and Martha very much but when he heard of the news, he stayed where he was for 2 more days! He didn’t drop everything and rush to Lazarus to heal him while he was sick. No, because again God’s timing is perfect. It gets even crazier! When Jesus arrives, he finds that Lazarus was dead and had already been in the tomb for 4 days! Uuuuugh…you would think God’s timing is for sure too late here, I mean the guy is dead! How much later can you get than that?!
But Jesus has the power over life and death because he is the creator of life…and he who is life can certainly restore it. Jesus raised Lazarus form the dead and said “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” John 11:40
There were many Jews who eye witnessed this miracle and afterwards put their faith in Jesus. God had a purpose and plan in raising Lazarus from the dead. If Jesus healed Lazarus while he was sick, there would not have been as many people gathered as there were when they came to mourn his death. Without God’s perfect timing, all these Jews would not have put their trust in him.
God’s delays are not necessarily his denials. Again, when you think you have been waiting too long for an answered prayer and you pretty much think your request is as good as dead like Lazarus, God has a greater plan and purpose that can be beyond you and your prayer. His timing is perfect and he is never late!
God is not limited by our timetable. I may not always understand his timing but I continue to trust and believe that my Creator and the Creator of this universe has got it together more than I do!
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9NIV
It is also important to remember that we may not always see God’s timing here on this earth. He may not answer you the way you think or when you think He should answer you. I know that’s a tough one to swallow!
When my mother was very ill 3 years ago, I was praying and believing in her healing. She ended up passing away… I may not always understand God’s timing but what I do know is that she has received her healing in heaven. I didn’t see it here on this earth but I will see it one day when I see her in heaven.
So when you get tired of waiting and feel like giving up….remember God’s timing is perfect…He is never early, never late and ALWAYS on time!
1) What prayers are you waiting for God to answer? Have you been waiting so long that you are ready to give up?
2) Do you have a difficult time trusting God’s timing?
3) Have you placed expectations on God to answer your prayers a certain way or at a certain time…your way and your timing?
1) Pray for God to help you develop greater trust in him and in his timing.
2) Do not give up praying…even when you feel like you can’t wait any longer. 1Thess. 5:17 says “Pray without ceasing.” We still need to be persistent in prayer.
3) Remember that God’s ways are not your ways and that his thoughts are higher than your thoughts. He may not answer you when you want him to or the way you want him to but “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 NASB