God's Perfect Timing

Bible Reading: Ecclesiastes 3:1-17; 11:7-10; 12:1-8, 13-14

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end" (3:11).

"God has given them a desire to know the future. He does everything just right and on time, but people can never completely understand what he is doing" (3:11 NCV).

I thought this desire to know the future was a weakness - a lack of trust - but it actually comes from God! Perhaps God has planted that desire in each of us so we will seek him as we prepare for what lies ahead. We can make our plans, but it is God who determines our steps (Pr. 16:9). As he weaves the tapestry of our lives, he does everything "just right and on time." From our perspective, however, looking at all the loose threads and knots on this side of eternity, it often appears that he must have made some mistakes and that he's taking far too long.

When we look back at some of the woven sections of our lives, we can see, to our amazement, how perfectly everything fits together. We will not see the beauty of his work in other sections, however, until we see them from God's perspective when we meet him face to face. Though we "cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end," he wants us to catch a glimpse of his perfect plan so that we will revere him (3:14). As we accept that "there is a time for everything, and everything on earth has its special season" (3:1 NCV), we can learn to trust even God's timing. The test of time will prove that "He has made everything beautiful in its time" (3:11).

Lord, sometimes the hardest part about trusting you is trusting your timing. I know you'll work things out eventually, but it's so hard to wait. I want to jump up and grab the needle from your hand and weave my own pattern. But then I still have to wait as you patiently unravel the mess I made and continue your work.

Help me develop the habit of shaping my worries into prayers every time I find myself fretting over what may happen tomorrow (Philip. 4:6-7), or about what's happening now and how many tomorrows it will be before you bring resolution. The rest of your creation never worries about tomorrow, yet you take care of them (Mt. 6:25-34). I don't have to worry, either; I can attend to today's work and let you carry the weight of my tomorrow on your shoulders. If I knew what hardships were coming my way, I'd probably panic and run anyway. Though I don't know what will happen, I know that you'll remain faithful. You'll provide the threads of grace and strength I need to get me through each trial, just when I need it… not before… not after.

I can only barely grasp your ways, Lord, but I know I can trust your heart. When I trust your heart, I no longer fear your masterful hand in my life. Teach me to turn my attention off of myself and onto you, that I may desire your purpose for my life to be fulfilled in your time, instead of expecting you to fulfill my own purpose in my own time. I don't know how you do it, but I know you make all things beautiful in your time. I give you all my plans, my pain, my failures and my fears; weave them, one thread at a time, into a work of art that reflects your beauty.


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