Timing Is Everything

I'm sure you've had the experience of reading Scripture and suddenly a verse jumps out at you, and you think- "it's underlined, so I know I've read this before, and yet- I feel like I've never read this before." Lately, this has been happening a lot, and the living nature of the Word of God has become even more apparent to me. It has become more clear how God uses timeless, eternal words to speak into the exact moment of my life that I need it. How He molds my perspective to a more God-glorifying one through showing me the proper perspective in the Bible. How He intended me to read particular verses at these particular moments in my life, and He knew that it would happen before it was even written, before the world was even formed.

So it's gotten me to thinking about timing. How the Scriptures that we learn and hear and memorize now aren't necessarily FOR now. They may be for the day when we'll need them. For example, the verse, "love keeps no records of wrongs" isn't for the early days of dating when you think your beloved can do no wrong. It's for the later times- when you're frustrated with the wrongs that HAVE been done.

Sunday at church, I was asked to sing a hymn I've sung many times, "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty," in the newer version sung by Christy Nockels. The lyrics fit our situation right now SO well, and I am so grateful that God is teaching me to praise Him in the midst of uncertainty. I was able to share about the joy and hope God has given us during this medically frustrating situation, and encouraged our local Body to truly praise Him for the good and the bad. James 1 tells us to be count trials as joy, and that passage is written for the times of suffering. It's not just a theoretical notion to be thought of in the good times. It is specifically written to encourage those who are in the storm.

And it's true. We need to take God at His Word. When we're in the midst of suffering, it is possible to rejoice in it, be thankful for it, and not grow weary. Because His Word says it is. If He tells us we have something, we do. If He tells us it is possible to walk a certain way, then we can. Sometimes we
choose not to walk in the ways He says we can. But we need to be far less focused on emotions or on fears, and far more confident in the matchless and entirely true Words of the God Who made us.

Timing is everything, and now is our family's time in the storm. You may be in a different storm, or yours may be around the corner. But let's use the Scriptures at ALL times- when things are effortless, or when we're having to fight just for a sense of "normal"; when our dreams are being evidenced before our eyes, or when we're having to resign our "plans" to the far-more-perfect plans that God has for us; when we're in times of easy rejoicing, or when we have to work to rejoice. The God Who made time and Who allows struggles intends and will use it all for our good and for His glory.


Myfriendconnie said...

Thanks for coming by my blog. I've enjoyed reading here.

Bobbie Diaz said...

Hi Jessica
I know your words are true, in my heart of hearts, I do know they are true. I just can't count my situation as pure joy right now. You and I are both in a storm right now, I have failed. I feel like my prayers are only reaching the ceiling. I have prayed and prayed...


Jess said...

I'm so glad you've come here and feel comfortable enough to share what your struggles are. What I've been sharing about what I've got going on is exactly that-- what I've got going on. My storm is not the same as yours... and God has me in entirely different day-to-day circumstances than he has you in.

For both of us, over this last year, there has been the situation of sometimes not "having a place to lay our heads".

However. I (on the one hand) have been surrounded by cultures where that is normal. Where not many people have much of anything to their name, no $$ in the bank, and certainly nothing much for other people to envy.

You, on the other hand, have been surrounded by a culture that SCREAMS, "YOU MUST have A, B, C, D, E, F, .... on and on... in order to feel happy, contented, and like you are loved by God." (prosperity gospel is part of this)

And that is simply not true. Being back in this culture over the last couple of weeks has made this even more evident to me- that we are smothered in materialism here in America. Everything- from TV to friends to lifestyles to prices to even just the things that are assumed by the people around you (what you can afford, what you want, etc.)- is geared toward the accumulation of material possessions.

It is not difficult to see why you would be struggling to even see your way out in this culture. Nor is it difficult to see why people can't identify much with your situation. They, too, are overwhelmed with accumulation. Everyone else is often busy trying to keep up with the Joneses.

If you and Dan were in a group of believers in China, you would be surrounded by fellow believers who also have struggled and been beaten down... but there's just not much honest discussion of that here in America. If you talk to my parents, they could tell you. If you talked to many people in their "honest" moments, they could tell you. But not many people here talk about the difficulties in life, paired with having joy in suffering.

All this to say, I hear what you're saying and I'm sorry for all you're dealing with- but I know that it will make you into one refined and precious jewel for the King, even if you don't see it from your perspective. He is refining you and shaping you in ways we will never understand until we get to see it all through His eyes.

I am so grateful that you've shared and I hope you will continue to share. I'll be lifting you up today, Bobbie.

Love, Jess

Mom said...

Timing is everything! I'm still learning that, and the last year has proven that to me! It is hard when the "world" has expectations of what you "need" or "should have", and it's "in your face" constantly. I think that one of the things that God is trying to teach me is patience. I've really been trying to stop and not run ahead of Him, and that is very hard for me, but I'm doing it. It's really a joy to look back over the last year and see step by step how God has lead us. It's just amazing.

It is a very special blessing when you can praise God in the midst of the storm.

Love, Mom