Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ecclesiastes 3:1

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:" (KJV)

While many recognize this as a Byrds song from 1966, the original reference is quite a bit older than anything you'll find on your local oldies station. Like so many other phrases we hear regularly and never think about, it's actually a Bible verse. It was written sometime around 935 BC by King Solomon, one of the wisest men ever to have lived. But just as it was relevant enough in the 60's to become a pop hit, the message here is still meaningful today.

Often, when we pray for something and it isn't granted to us immediately, we become impatient. We forget that God's timing is not our own, and He has plans that we can't begin to fathom. Just as it would be a bad idea to try to enjoy the fruits of your garden before they're ripe, it would make no sense for God to grant to us now the things He has planned for us in our future. Sometimes when it seems that God is telling us "no," He's really just saying "wait." We need to learn to trust in the perfection of God's own timing, rather than the "I want what I want and I want it now" of our own sinful nature.

Likewise, sometimes things that we'd rather put off till next week, next month, next year, or maybe the twelfth of never, God decrees should come to pass today. If you leave the apples on the tree past harvesting time, you'll soon find that they will no longer be of any use. In the same way, God knows the perfect time to call home His saints. He knows when we are ready for trials even if we believe we are not. He knows when it's time to close a chapter of our lives so that a new one may be opened. While all of these changes can often feel tragic or painful to us, they are necessary steps in our journey toward God's kingdom. If He allowed us to put them off indefinitely, we might miss out on the wonderful things He has planned for our lives.

So the next time you become impatient or frustrated at God's timing, remember that He knows better than we do what we need and when we need it. He has a plan for each of us, and if we will just sit back and let Him bring it about, we'll find ourselves truly blessed by it!

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