Rushing God’s Timing

Today is an unexpected day off in the middle of a week-long fence-repair project. My contractor has pruned all the plants in the flower beds on the sides of the fence and covered them with painters plastic. She has replaced a rotten board or two and used a strong cleaning product along with a brush to remove algae. Through the process, the boards got a good soaking. She asked me to check the bottoms of the boards this morning to make sure they were dry enough for paint.

They weren’t. So painting is postponed. If we were to ignore the dampness and move ahead with painting, as planned, the paint would not adhere correctly, and the job would be botched. Soaked boards take time to dry thoroughly here in my shady yard; it would be a mistake to rush the process.

It’s the same way with God’s timing. All of us plan things for our lives, and we always have in mind exactly how it should all go. We usually have a schedule we’re working out, even if we haven’t consciously thought of it that way. We still have our ideas of what should happen next and when and how it should happen.

But often times God has other ideas. Maybe He knows the wood isn’t dry yet, even though we don’t detect the dampness, and if we’ll listen, we can avoid a wrong decision. Maybe there is really nothing wrong with the plan we’re trying to put into effect—other than that God has a much better one around the corner, if we can hold our horses. We’re always much better off to take the time to pray, to seek divine guidance, to try to discern God’s way for our lives, and never to rush God’s timing.

           

Waiting, Trusting

My recent posts are starting to fall into a theme: waiting on God, trusting in the slow work of God, being patient, staying in faith.

Last night was a meeting of a group of women friends – we’ve been meeting on a semi-regular basis for over 18 years. As I thought about the things I would share with them, I realized how much of my life right now feels like waiting and trusting. That’s been the case for a number of weeks. My spouse’s health has taken a new, mysterious turn and the doctors are doing more guessing than diagnosing, so we wait in faith for a return to a more stable place. My novel manuscript has been for seven weeks now with the agent I most want to represent it, and I await his decision. The major project that has been the source of our livelihood for many months is coming to an end, and the questions are beginning about what will come next.

These are all important matters for our peace and security, and all of them are outside my direct control. But I take the steps I can see to take, and for the rest, I stay in faith, waiting and trusting.

Lately, the people who come to me to share their personal journeys are mostly in that place, too, of seeing avenues they would like to walk but that aren’t quite available to them yet and having to trust that God will open the doors that are right for them and keep closed the ones that aren’t. Maybe they are seeking me out because they sense that that is my journey too.