One of the important details about the Christmas story that often gets overlooked is just how specific the Father was in the timing of sending His Son. God’s timetable is all over the Christmas story.
When we see this clearly in terms of the birth of Jesus 2000 years ago, it helps to bring some confidence and clarity about God’s timing concerning everything… even in this most challenging year.
God had been announcing to the world for centuries that He was going to send a savior. Prophecies about that abound in the Old Testament. But God waited for over 1,000 years until just the right time to send His Son. We really don’t know why He didn’t send Him sooner… He is simply sovereign over the timing of everything.
The Bible says,
“But when the right time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as His very own children. And because we are His children, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, ‘Abba, Father.'” (Galatians 4:4-7 NLT)
These are incredibly important verses of scripture. They reveal to us that:
1. God has a timetable for everything that happens.
We don’t know why God sent Jesus when He did, but we know it was the right time to do what He wanted to do. The same is true when it comes to God intervening in our lives for things which we know He’s promised us , but we have yet to see fulfilled. A delay does not mean “no” it may simply mean “not yet.”
2. God does not tell us all the details in advance.
Think of it this way. If we knew when things we to happen in our lives, we would get overwhelmed with trying to manage all the other decisions around when we knew God was going to intervene. That would not work out well for us. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says this: “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.”
I’m sure the Lord wants to reveal to us as much as our faith will allow, but not so much that we will somehow abuse that knowledge or try to somehow deflect the negative that may be part of our journey.
The most important reason is that God wants us to learn to trust Him. He always acts out of love for us and wants us to simply grown in our daily trust of His sovereign grace in our lives.
3. The Lord is never in a hurry, and He’s never late.
Have you ever noticed that about the ministry of Jesus in the gospels? It never says that He “hurried off to Galilee” and that when He seemed to be “late” (such as with answering the prayer of Mary and Martha for Him to come and save their brother Lazarus in John 11). It’s always so that something more dynamic and powerful can happen.
I know that in these days it seems like God may not be answering our prayers in the timetable that we set, but I’m completely confident that we will have breakthrough and that our prayers will be answered “in the fullness of time.”
Remember the perspective that God has concerning our timetable. 2 Peter 3:8 says, “Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” NIV
I’d like to share just a couple more insights that these verses bring about the depth of God’s timing and love for us. These are especially relevant in this Advent season.