God’s Timing Is Always Best

“Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” (John 2:4)

Jesus came to Galilee for a brief visit. Perhaps He wanted to go back home for a time before beginning His public ministry. While He was there, Jesus accompanied His mother to a wedding. In John 2, we see that Jesus loved being with people and He loved to share in their joys. He never isolated Himself from everyday life but He stayed in touch with those to whom He ministered — whether it was in joy or in sorrow. There are some important lessons in that…but for another day.

While at the wedding, a crisis arose. The reception host was about to be embarrassed because the drinks had run out. I don’t know exactly all that was involved in Mary’s request to Jesus, but she obviously believed that Jesus could meet the need. One of the most significant statements in this story is our verse for today. From Jesus’ answer to His mother, there are a couple of spiritual truths I would call to your attention about God’s timing.

God has a purpose for every life, but He also has a timetable. Therefore, Don’t Run Ahead of God. Sometimes in my eagerness to do God’s will, I want to do it quicker than He wants it done. It reminds me of Moses. God had a great plan for Moses. Unfortunately, Moses tried to do the job too quickly and too early. Moses decided that God was calling him to free the people from slavery and oppression and God was calling him NOW! You remember what happened. Moses killed an Egyptian, the Jews questioned whether God sent Moses to them or not and Moses panicked. Trying to run ahead of God cost Moses forty years in the wilderness. Moses should have waited on God.

At the same time I have learned that I shouldn’t run ahead of God, I’ve also learned another important lesson about timing. Don’t Drag Behind God. There are opportunities in life of which we must take advantage or we lose them. If we fail to act when God is ready for us, we may never have the opportunity again. When you know God wants you to do something…don’t delay. Just DO IT!

The final lesson I learn from Jesus trip to the wedding is this. Always Stay in Touch with God. One factor that permeated the life of Jesus was His constant, unbroken fellowship with the Father. Although Jesus possessed perfect knowledge of God’s plan for Him, He also realized that He had  a ministry to perform before going to the cross to die for our sin. At the close of this ministry, Jesus, while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, said, “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee” (John 17:1).

Mary may not have understood the full plan of God for her Son at the time, but she knew that the crisis they faced at the wedding could certainly be met by Jesus. Whatever the case, Jesus turned the water into wine and saved the wedding host from embarrassment. But in the process, He taught us that God’s timing is always best so don’t run ahead and don’t drag behind. Stay in touch with God so that He can use you at the exact moment He chooses.

Have a great day.

 

Following the Shepherd

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want…Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:1, 6)

Psalm 23 is probably the most familiar passage in the Bible. It is exceedingly simple. There are no hidden mysteries here. It doesn’t take an advanced theological degree to understand what David is saying. And yet, it is its simplicity that I believe makes this such an encouraging passage for so many believers.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
In the original manuscripts, the verb “is” does not appear. The translators supplied the verb for smoothness in reading. But consider that verse without the verb. It simply says, “The Lord my shepherd!” David has the unmitigated presumption to say, “The LORD is MY shepherd!” That suggests that he not only knows his shepherd, but his shepherd knows him. What an encouragement!!!

I read that astronomers say at least 250 million times 250 million stars — each one larger than our sun — have been scattered across the vast universe by God. Earth is just a speck of matter in space compared with the stars. All that is very humbling to me. We tend to be proud and pompous humans and yet the Creator of the universe…the One who scattered millions upon millions of stars into space…descends to call himself MY shepherd. He invites me to consider myself one of His sheep.

And the result? The Lord of heaven is my shepherd and that means “I shall not want.” That doesn’t mean that because of my “privileged relationship” as a sheep, the great Shepherd will give me every whim and fancy I have. Instead, it means that only MY SHEPHERD truly understands my needs, and He meets those needs accordingly.

The psalm ends with a picture of the complete confidence that this sheep has in his Shepherd. Through the long journey of life, my Shepherd has proved over and over again that He is concerned about me. Every moment of the way, even when I detoured from His path, I am followed by the “goodness and mercy” of the Shepherd.

Psalm 23 covers the full spectrum of life. The end of this life is but the beginning of a grander, better life that has no termination. The only way to experience that better life is to follow the Shepherd. When the sun is shining and the Shepherd’s care for me is obvious or when I have to travel through the most ferocious storm, I am assured that the Shepherd’s “goodness and mercy” follow me.

Today, stop and thank the Good Shepherd for allowing you and me to be called His sheep.

Have a great day.