Headline: WORKING WITH GOD’S TIMEPosted on: 2017-07-26
God’s time is the best
Patience is not a popular virtue in our day-to-day dealings. The Western world view, driven by the philosophy of “Time and Tide wait for no one”, or that “Time is money” has become a mantra for civilization. It has also robbed many of the capacity for waiting and of the virtue of patience. Most people want to get everything they need to do, done with and over as quickly as possible. We are impatient with our work, with our spouses, with our colleagues, collaborators and even with ourselves. In the end we get impatient even with God. In out life, prayer and behavior we show that we ask God to adapt to our time. But try help the larva of a buterfly out of its shell faster than it should come out and it simply dies. Such natural events must necessarily take their due course. Some forms of “Hot prayers”, powerful intercessions, vigils, fasting and abstinence are aimed at compelling God to do our bidding in our own time schedule. Such efforts can be frustrating because perceptive minds know that our best effort does not change God. He is totally free and God’s time is the best
This belief is no excuse for anyone to sit down from morning to night with folded arms, expecting God to do all that is necessary to give us a good life. The book of Proverbs has good counsel in that regard. “Idler, go to the ant: ponder her ways and grow wise: no one gives her orders, no overseer, no master, yet all through the summer she gets her food ready, and gathers her supplies at harvest time” (Prov 6: 6-8). Surely, there is nothing God cannot do, yes but there is a lot that he simply would not do. One saint once said: “God will never do for you what you can do for yourself”. I personally believe in the principle: “Pray like only God can, and work like you alone can”. A refreshing retell of the story of the children of Israel at the Red Sea says that when Moses stretched his staff over the sea at the approach of the chariots and army of Pharaoh, absolutrely nothing happened. There was consternation all around. He repeated the gesture several times with no result. Moses then jumped right in the water and it was then the sea parted. It is a good lesson on how much man must sometimes do before God acts. The faith of Abraham teaches the same. We never can explain why God took Abraham through the pains of leading Isaac to the slaughter, tying him up and raising the knife to strike him before intervening. Obviously God works by his own plans and schedule and his timing is not intended to pamper our fancies.
That we may be truly wise
Pure wisdom therefore, is learning what God’s will is and learning to abide by it. In this task it is a blessing to have the Holy Spirit on our side. That is a powerful ally because as the Bible says, the Holy Spirit knows the mind of God. Saint Paul wrote: “Brethren, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought” (Rom 8:26). Who among us does not have weaknesses? And who would not welcome some help in his weaknesses? Periods of difficulty and trials are when we need to call on the Spirit more for direction, discernment and decision making. Yet that same spirit intercedes for the saints, Paul writes, only according to the will of God. God’s sovereignty simply refuses to go away.
The parable of the weed
Jesus’ parable of the good seeds and the wheat teaches eloquently about the gift of patience and letting God be God even after human beings have done the very best they can (Matt. 13 24ff). The farmer in that parable had no fault for he planted in the right season. He did not plant on wrong soil. He obviously did everything right. However in the world there will always be forces and persons who differ from what is good, true and beautiful. The enemy came during the night to sow weeds. It was at a time when the farmer could do nothing to help himself. However when the damage had been done he refused to let his servants act humanly and pull up the weed straightaway. “No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds forst and bind them to bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn”. (Matt. 13: 29-30).
Daring to Hope
Pour beans into water and it is the bad rotten ones that stay up. Experience and faith teach however that there is often more good at the bottom of the water than can be seen on top of it. Could this be the situation you are going through now when all you can see is gloomy and exasperating? You might be at a point when you really need to try hard to pinpoint any cheering issue around you. It is at such times that the words of Scripture must ring out in your ears as a great source of consolation and strength. God’s time is still the best.
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