Have you ever noticed how quickly we give God credit for the timing of something that works out to our advantage? Don’t get me wrong, I would always encourage giving God credit for good things in our lives, but over and opposed to ONLY ever giving him credit when it goes well is something I have been personally wrestling with.
When an anonymous payment was credited to my college account that covered the amount that was due the very week it was due, I praised God for His timing! When God supplied an experienced worship leader for the church when our current worship leader was ready for a break, I praise God for His timing. When Linda Robertson decided to counsel at Camp Barakel in 1993 and steal my heart, I praised God for His timing!
My current quandary concerns the timing of the same exact event from two different angles. Our church entered into a contract to build a building on November 28, 2016. At that point we had no way of knowing that the school where we currently meet would be no longer available to us in August of 2017. I praise God for His timing on this. I confess that I often have a tendency to measure God’s involvement in something by how convenient or beneficial it is for me. My heart looks at the fabric of the universe in terms of my centrality. As if God held back the rains to protect my family picnic despite the desperate cries from the local farmer for rain so that he doesn’t lose the farm.
So we now have a pretty solid deadline for our building project. When this building project began, we could take our time and the expectation that it would take longer than projected seemed a bit funny and the stuff of stereotypes.
But now the question crosses my mind often, “what will we do come August if we have no place to Meet?” And further, “what about September and October?” But the deeper issue that this project is placing on my heart and mind is better worded, “can I praise God for His timing if it DOESN’T make things more convenient for me?”
Sure, I know deep down that it isn’t all about me. I preach and teach that it isn’t all about us. But how do I really think and act in my heart when the timing of things seems too close for comfort or even just downright off?
I am grateful that we already had a building under way, before we even knew that our current meeting space was going away. That truly is impressive timing! But it is shaping up to be likely that we will not be in that building before we need to find a temporary place for a month or two as the project is completed.
I am confident that God’s got this! It will require some creative thinking, maybe a church service or two at the park, maybe a couple of weeks without children’s ministries.
But as I have considered this conundrum of thanking God for his timing from one perspective and stressing about the timing from another perspective, this situation has called out an inconsistency in me that I think many can relate to. Will I accept only good from God?
I believe that we are called to rejoice in the God who is working all things out for good for those who love him and are called according to His purposes! I will choose day by day in this process to thank God for His timing, even if it is His choice is to rain on my picnic, send the check two days late, or delay this building granting an opportunity to exercise organizational flexibility.
God’s got this . . . and He is providing our church family with a building in His timing! Woot!