I was driving to a friend’s house the other day and I was reflecting on my almost relationships. My history with men is a perpetual mess of “I-like-him-he-doesn’t-like-me” and then finally “he-likes-me-I-don’t-like-him”. As Christ and I were chatting, I said “My timing sucks”. His response was “Yes, it does.”
Not what I really wanted to hear in that moment. I was looking for a “Baby girl, it’ll be ok. I still love you!” not a blunt, matter-of-fact agreement. He didn’t stop there though. He said “But if you would prefer, I can give you my timing, in place of your own. It’s always perfect.”
It was in this moment I became aware that I have always seen Christ’s timing as a punishment. Why? Because as I’ve watched friend, after friend, after friend get “my” desire, and not me. My assumption was if I would focus on Christ more, or ‘delight’ more, or give more of myself away or if I would just do more, be better – then it would finally be the right time. I thought of Christ’s timing as punishment because I was about me, and not about Christ. I was about being/doing good enough to be rewarded.
Then there is the thought: “It would be better if Christ had done _____.” Mary and Maratha thought it would be better if Christ had showed up before Lazarus died. It would have been better not to have experienced the pain of losing a brother. Early in Christ’s ministry, Peter thought it would have been better to continue to heal the sick who had lined up outside the door, instead Christ knew it was better to move on to the next city to share His Father with the people there. “It would have been better if”…is a lie. Christ is for us, there is no ‘better than’.
My it-would-be-better-if moments focus on my past and the present. I have no idea what the future holds and how Christ’s timing is perfectly building His kingdom. It’s not about me. It’s about us, the Body of Christ, being built together in Him. It’s about living out eternity now. It’s about expressing Him and living His Life, not my own. I have to die to myself so that His Life and eternal purpose can live.
That is how I was able to see Christ’s timing as a life-giving opportunity, rather than a punishment. He is always doing more than we see. Always. There are no accidents or coincidences. Christ uses all of our experiences to create this full expression of Himself through us. He wastes nothing. He redeems everything. His timing is so much deeper, so much more rich, so much more satisfying.
His offer is for you too. Your timing, what you think you want – when you want it – sucks. But He’ll give you His perfect timing. If you want it.