Where we have plans, God has timing. I first came across this notion while reading John 7. As the Feast of Tabernacles was about to take place but Jesus was staying where he was and not going into Judea despite his brothers urging him to go. They repeatedly told him he must go to Judea and yet Jesus resisted. They appealed to him with a strategy, a plan that they had devised for his ministry.
They said to Him, “No one who wants to be a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world”. (Jn 7:4) They had come up with a plan.
But, Jesus’ response pointed them back to God’s timing. He told them more than once that his time had not yet come and that while any time was good for them (after all they had a plan), he was waiting for “HIS TIME”.
You see? People have a plan but God has timing. The timing of God is always perfect and always serves a purpose to have the greatest impact for His Kingdom. We are impatient, wanting things according to our own plans. Yet when God acts we see the depth of his impact upon our lives and in the life of the church body.
Recently, I experienced “God Timing” and the impact that it had not only at home, and amongst Victor Valley Christian Church but also across the country and as far away as Australia.
“Have you got Greg?”
“Is Greg with you?’
“No. I’m in the middle of a meeting.”
“Well, he didn’t come home after school today!”
That conversation between my daughter and I began a day of trouble for our family. Eighteen grueling hours of dismay, anguish and bewilderment; of waiting, waiting, praying, and more waiting. Eighteen of the worst hours of my life. Greg had gotten off the bus but hadn’t made it through the front door of their home. Our 12 year old grandson, with Asperger’s, went missing in the 3½ blocks between the bus-stop and his the house.
So we began to pray. And time ticked away. We put out the call to the Church; pray for us, and for Greg’s safe return. And the time ticked away. But, the LORD began to work.
How I wanted Jesus to answer my prayer immediately. How I wanted Him to follow my plan for a quick resolution. But God has timing and he wanted something more for us.
The hours passed and more people prayed. Our beautiful congregation and others across the nation and around the world rallied to their knees for us. Old friends, new friends and people we don’t even know became our prayer warriors. They lifted us up as they drove. They knelt beside their beds. They paused at their desks during work. They ceased their labor to raise a hand to God and ask for his intervention. They cried out to Jesus, our blessed savior, continuously. Through the night they agonized in prayer on our behalf. The hours crept along with no answer. All the leads went cold. The police were stumped but persisted.
Prayer Changes Us
Something happens to a person as they pray for someone else. As we pray we draw close to God asking Him to take control and intervene. In prayer we surrender to the will of the Father. We cry out to Him and he puts his arms around us, pulls us in and whispers, “Come close, let me tell you how much I love you.”
The hours went by and God’s people drew close to him, hour upon hour. Hundreds of God’s chosen were pulled a little closer than before. Even some who we were “far from God” drew a little closer to the Savior. Something I know to be true is that when we draw close to the LORD, He changes us; and when the Savior changes us, we stay changed.
We faced trouble that night and Jesus never left our side. He drew us close. He drew His Church close and we are better for it. Our relationship with the LORD is stronger and more surrendered. We are changed.
Joy comes in the morning
We have plans, God has timing. Morning came. An army of volunteers was needed to do a grid search of the area. We picked up our cell phones and began texting: “Anyone who is available please meet us to help search.” The moment I pushed the SEND button, my phone rang. Greg had just walked into the school’s office. He was safe.
In the next few minutes, the Glory of the LORD exploded in the Victor Valley, across the country and around the world prayer turned into praise. For us the praise continues; for not only did we get our boy back but we also are still hearing the stories of prayer and how God worked. We rejoice for our family and for those who drew close to the LORD and heard Him whisper.
Weeping may stay
for the night,
But Rejoicing comes
in the morning.
From upcoming events to random thoughts, each week this is the place to hear from a staff member or guest writer.