Sunday, May 6, 2012

Timing is Everything

Timing is Everything
May 7, 2012
Acts 17:26  " . . . and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.

Timing is everything, or so it is sometimes said.  Despite the fact that random things frequently happen in our lives, the timing of them can sometimes seem uncanny.  I've had a flat tire on the way to an important job interview, but I've also had a job offer the minute I lost a previous one.  I've seen sickness arise the moment someone has lost their health insurance and I've seen sickness arise the moment someone is covered under new health insurance.  Whatever the circumstance, timing certainly is peculiar.  Or is it?

Hadassah was a teenage girl in a hostile land that was not her own, and her life circumstances happened at a peculiar time.  The king needed a wife and somehow, through a twist of fate, Hadassah was chosen to be queen; her name was changed to Esther to hide her Jewish identity.  There was a  plot to annihilate her people, but Esther's uncle told her that the Lord had raised her up at the right time so she could intervene.  Esther had the bravery to eventually approach the king and plead the case for her people; thankfully, they were spared.  The famous words found in the Bible that are used to describe Esther's unique opportunity are somewhat poetic: "such a time as this."

Timing was everything for Esther and her people.  She didn't understand what the Lord was doing with her life at the time, but in hindsight she was able to see how the Lord raised her up for just the right moment in time, for the right opportunity.  The Lord works this way for everyone, not just in a few historical instances of notoriety.  He works this way in your life and mine.  In the New Testament, Paul made this same argument when he said that the Lord marked out our appointed times in history.  He was saying that the Lord designed us to live for His purposes at just the right moment.  If you read Paul's words just after his "specific time" argument he said, "God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us."
In Esther's case, she was confused and frightened in the midst of her opportunity.  She brought her case before the Lord, seeking wisdom and favor before approaching the king.  Times of uncertainty for us, though the Lord is still in control, are part of the Lord's design.  He wants us to seek Him, to figure out what He would have us do during these times in our lives that seem bizarre or even uncomfortable, the uncanny moments during life's unique timing.

Paul continued his discourse about God's timing.  He said, "For in him we live and move and have our being."  He was saying that no matter what the timing of the unique circumstance, it is an opportunity to serve the Lord through it and for His purposes, realizing that it might be a situation like Esther's.  I don't know why you are going through your unique circumstance, but I do know that the Lord's timing in it is perfect.  Seek Him, as that is His desire for you during this time.  Act appropriately and see what He brings about.  You are reading these words in the Lord's perfect timing.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Acts 17:25-28, Esther 2-7, Esther 4:14

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