He’s an on-time God

God has perfect timing. There’s an old Brooklyn Tabernacle song called, “He’s an On-Time God” and it always used to make me smile when the choir tried to sing it.

Do you know anyone who has perfect timing? I don’t think I do. In our case, when humans have perfect timing, we usually attribute it to coincidence. Or to Providence. But people don’t have perfect timing. We’re either early or late — or we’re punctual.

God is never late. And I guess maybe He’s early sometimes, but even when He’s early, He’s still on time so I don’t think that applies if that makes any sense. God is always on time, and He’s always on schedule.

That’s hard to fathom sometimes because all we really know and understand is our own failures at keeping time. None of us can stay on schedule, so it’s hard for us to understand how anyone can always be right on time. But it’s a God thing. It’s part of being Who He Is. He made time, after all. And He’s not limited by it like we are.

Today’s verse is Galatians 4:4-5.

4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.

I love this. God sent Jesus “when the right time came.” If God had sent Him sooner, the world wouldn’t have been ready. If God had sent Him later, the rest of history would have unfolded differently. God sent Him at just the right time. God sent Him just when He needed to get here, to grow up during the Roman occupation of Israel, a time when the world was connected with all sorts of roads so spreading the Good News was possible.

I get bogged down with life pretty easily. I’m busy. I have a lot going on. And it’s really easy for me to get caught in the trap of thinking that God is late. I mean, I can see all of the avenues that God can work in, and I can see all of the opportunities that I have right in front of me, but I know that I can’t succeed in any of them until God shows up. So I wait — and He doesn’t come. So that means He’s late, right?

It’s easy to think like that. But it’s wrong. God is never late. He’s just extraordinarily patient. He has a plan, and He knows when everything needs to happen to make that plan work out perfectly. And even though we can see multiple opportunities — or if you have an active imagination like I do, you can see all the different ways that God can use you if He’d just do what you tell Him to — they may not necessarily fit into His plan.

God’s plans are specific. They’re personal. And they are individually designed for the people involved, designed to bring us joy and peace, a good future with hope according to Jeremiah 29:11. It’s all part of God giving us the desires of our heart. But the first step toward that is desiring the things that God desires.

First, we have to have a heart like God. Selfless. Full of immoveable, irrational love for people who hurt you. Mercy. Joy. And once you get there, then God can give you the things you desire. Because, face it, if God gave us everything we wanted just because we wanted it, He’d be no better than a lazy parent who appeases a screaming child with candy. And God is a better parent than that.

God is patient. So we have to be patient too. And, boy, God knows I’m tired of being patient. There are so many things in my life that I have been waiting for. The waiting seems interminable. But all I have to do is look backward because I’ve lived long enough to see God’s hand in the circumstances of my life. And I can honestly say that He’s never dropped me. And even through the times where I thought He wasn’t doing anything, now I can look back and see the things He did in me that have shaped me into the person I am today.

So if He worked that way in my life then, that helps me remember that He’s still working in my life now. And if being patient is what He needs me to do, I’ll do it. I won’t be still, though. There’s plenty to do while I wait.

God has perfect timing. And the dreams that He designed me for will eventually become reality, but that needs to happen on His schedule and not mine. Because He can see how it all fits together, and I can’t. And when it comes right down to it, isn’t it better to trust someone with perfect timing rather than someone who just gets lucky on occasion?