Friday, October 21, 2016

Timing Is Everything

Timing is everything.

The farmer knows just when the right time is to plant seeds, to water them, fertilize them and, ultimately, when to harvest them to get the maximum produce. If he does it too early, the crops may get harmed by the cold. If he waits too long, the crops may be burned by the heat or the produce may be over-ripe and start to rot before getting to market. Timing is everything if a farmer is going to get the most out of his land.

Musicians instinctively know the importance of timing. Not only must every note be played on key but it must be sounded at just the right time in the song. A note, no matter how masterfully it is played, if sounded too early or too late in the piece will sound off key and throw off the other musicians. Timing is everything when a musician is part of a symphony.

For athletes, timing can make all the difference in winning and losing. The baseball player has to swing his bat at just the right moment to connect with the ball to achieve the maximum speed and distance. A tennis player must have impeccable timing to swing her racquet just as the ball is bouncing off the court to get enough topspin to get it over the net and out of the reach of her opponent. All the strength, finesse and coordination in the world mean nothing if an athlete’s timing is off.

Also, timing is everything with God.

Not only does He know what we need but He knows exactly when we need it. His help never comes so soon that we are not ready for it nor so late that we no longer need it. Rather, at just the right moment He offers us just what we need to fight temptation, overcome obstacles and to help others. God gives us just what we need when we need it. His timing is impeccable.

However, when we are feeling under pressure, when our vulnerability seems too much to bear, we start to question God’s sense of timing. We wonder what is taking Him so long, why He is delaying in answering our prayer. Our doubts and fears rise up to disturb our peace of mind and we wonder whether God has forgotten us.

It is at moments such as these that we must remember Jesus’ words in today’s gospel: “Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.”

From our vantage point, it may seem as though our Heavenly Father is slow in answering us. However, God has a much different perspective than we do. He will unfailingly give us what we need when we need it. All we need do is wait with trust and faith.

It can be tempting to give up hope and to stop yearning for something better. We pray to see our dreams realized and the desires of our hearts satisfied, but it just takes so long. In the meantime, we allow discouragement to step in and begin to wonder whether what we have been praying for is unrealistic. The devil then takes the opportunity to tempt us to settle for less than the abundant life God promises for us. We are often willing to accept less because we can get it quicker and easier.

When we succumb to that temptation, however, we are like a farmer who eats sour apples because he is not willing to wait until the fruit ripens. God is the one who puts such grand desires in our hearts and such wild dreams in our minds. He wants us to yearn for unconditional love, for a faith that overcomes all obstacles and a hope that endures all difficulties. He wants us to strive for more, to not settle for the ordinary and to continually stretch out our hands toward goods that seem just beyond our grasp. However, to realize those dreams and make those hopes a reality, we have to wait on the Lord and persevere in prayer. We cannot be so afraid of disappointment and failure that we give up on the abundant life God wants for us.

What dreams have you given up on? Where in your life has disappointment so broken your spirits that you have all but lost hope? Where does God seem absent from your life? Where have you settled for less?

It can all begin to change if we just offer it all up to the Lord, persevere in prayer and trust in His perfect timing and in His promise that all things are possible to the one who has faith. 

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