By Leo Hellyer
Most of us will periodically reflect upon our lives and examine where we are compared to where we would like to be. These reflections could be related to career, family, finances, relationships, health, or our Christian walk. Our lives are continually changing. In fact, many people are quick to point out that the only thing constant about our lives is change.
How we handle many events depends greatly on the timing of those events. If the timing is not convenient to us, we have a tendency to look at these occurrences as negatives, a storm in our lives. As we face the “storms” of life, even when they happen at the worst possible time, we need to remember that God is in control. God is always with us and for us and always has a plan for our lives and our future. Our lives should not be controlled by what direction the wind blows or by what distractions may be happening at any particular time.
Unfortunately, we miss out on great opportunities for life change – or for changing lives – because we are waiting for everything to fall into place and be perfect. So often we have our eyes and our hearts on the wrong thing. God sets up divine appointments for us to exercise the gifts that He has given to us. Most often, at least in my life, these divine appointments have occurred at times that have not been the best for me. It is not about us. It is about being obedient to God, and it is about those He wants us to minister to.
We need to be men of integrity, men who are not swayed when events change, men who follow God’s direction, even when it is not convenient. In other words, men who follow God’s direction by faith, even when it might be an inconvenience to us. We need to trust God in His timing. We need to not get impatient with God when He doesn’t do something exactly when we want Him to. We also should be willing to step out in faith as God leads, instead of dragging our feet until we feel that everything is perfect before we take action.
We really need to be able to wrap our heads and our hearts around the fact that God’s timing is always perfect, and ours isn’t.
Jeremiah speaks to us in Jeremiah 29:11-12 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”
Some of the greatest blessings that have happened in my life have not been on my schedule, but they were on God’s schedule for me. Quite often God doesn’t give us all of the details about what is coming in our lives because He wants us to depend on Him. We don’t know what God really has scheduled for us.
Regardless of what seems to be delaying our plans, God is actually the one who is in charge. He is the one who is in control. He is the one who is guiding you on the journey that He has you on. He is the timekeeper.
Many times our timing and God’s timing are not the same because we are distracted by other things in our lives, and God is waiting on us to pay attention to what He wants us to focus on. While we are focused on the distractions in our lives, we are missing out on the blessings that God has for us in his perfectly designed plan. Giving too much attention to worldly things instead of godly things can simply make us tired. We need to get to the point spiritually where we refuse to be controlled by the agendas of others and become obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
There are many things that can distract us from the agenda that God has for us. Most of these things are under disguise from Satan himself. When we go through storms and detours in our lives, God is diligent to lead us back to the right course.
Through whatever detours we face, whatever distractions we experience, God’s timing is perfect, and He is in control. He has the plan. He has the power.
Waiting on anything is difficult for most of us, but waiting on the Lord is a true sign of wisdom and obedience. Isaiah reminds us of our need to wait upon the Lord in Isaiah 40:31 – “But they who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
David also knew about the importance of waiting on the Lord. Psalm 27:14 reads, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.”
Unfortunately many times we have the attitude of, “I know what I want, and I want it now!” God definitely has a different plan for us.
God selects the correct path, direction, and timing of any course of action that He has for us. We still have the choice to be obedient and follow Christ – or we can do our own thing and see how that works out. Let’s do our very best to be responsive and obedient to the Lord and His direction in our lives. God will reward us for our obedience.
Leo Hellyer is a non-staff pastor with a local church and has been married to his wife Norma for more than 45 years. The couple volunteered with the Boise FamilyLife Ministry Team for 20 years. Leo has also been serving with Boise Rescue Mission Ministries for 20 years and is currently serving at the River of Life Rescue Mission. He is president and chief firearms instructor with Helping Hands Firearms Training LLC. If you have questions about Real Man’s Toolbox, or need other assistance, Leo may be reached at [email protected] or 208-340-5544.