Read: Psalm 13; Psalm 94:1-10; Acts 1:3-8
It took decades, but we finally have entered the modern world. We now have an Alexa device. There are several things I have discovered that I enjoy about having this little device such as tuning into different radio stations all over the country and asking for favorite music; however, what I especially have found to be helpful is the ease of setting multiple timers. Here's why. I already have two small timers I can set, but sometimes, if I don't properly count out the minutes or if they haven't been properly cleared prior to being set, they ring too late. Another little glitch with these small timers is that I have no way of telling how much time is left before they ring because I can't see the numbers on the little display screen. That's why I find it so helpful to ask Alexa how much time is left on any given timer. Then I can gauge whether or not I can do a task in another room or if I need to check the oven just a bit early. The timing is under control no matter how many timers are going at the same time, and I know how long before each task is scheduled to be completed. Like chocolate chip cookies, for example. The timer is set for ten minutes and 30 seconds, and the announcement that the time has elapsed, will continue until I stop it.
There are many situations we face in life that make us want to ask: "How much time on my trial timer is left?" Even when we are joyfully anticipating an answer to prayer, we wonder how much time we will have to wait until we receive what the Lord has promised. and the truth is that we aren't alone. People in the Bible wondered that same thing. Whether they were waiting for painful or puzzling circumstances to cease or hoping for a desired blessing. It is a human desire to want to know how long it will be until God acts! I wonder how Abraham would have felt if he had known how many years he and Sarah would have to wait before Isaac was born. Or what about Joseph? He was enslaved for years prior to becoming second in command in Egypt. We have no inkling that he ever knew how long his difficult circumstances would last.
In Psalm 13:1-2, as well as Psalm 94:3-4, the psalmists cried out to the One Whom they knew, was aware of everything. We see through their eyes that it was painful as they observed the wickedness all around them and felt the absence of God's intervention. They cried out. They wondered how long before things would change. Oh, how our hearts often resonate with theirs. Even so, I love how, even in the midst of his discomfort the author of Psalm 94 reminded us that the One Who fashioned both ear and eye hears and sees. So often the biblical writers spoke of God as Creator. In this case, our senses of sight and hearing are signposts that speak of God's awesome power. He reminded himself and us that Someone Who invented both the eye and ear was totally able to handle what he found so wearying and troubling. This awesome God was aware of the cries of His people. This God was able to rebuke, Psalm 94:10. God was not a silent uninvolved by-stander. Even with these encouraging truths, something that we observe as we look at both of these psalms is that God didn't let the authors know when their struggles would come to an end.
David showed us what to do while we wait for God's timing. In Psalm 13:5-6, David reminded himself and us that he was anchored in the steadfast love of God. This is God's unconditional, unfailing and faithful love that held him fast. David also remembered the Lord's past blessings which had been bountifully poured out on him. David was held tightly in God's love in the present, and he was encouraged as he thought of God's care that had sustained him thus far. God's love for David didn't wane because of the questions the psalmist asked. David was, as we are, secure in God's love, Romans 8:38-39.
The psalmists were not the only ones who wondered when God would act. In Acts 1:3-7, we watch the apostles wonder. Their Lord had been crucified, but that wasn't the end! Now He had appeared to them, and they had a question. Was this finally the time when the kingdom would be inaugurated? Why not? Jesus had risen from the dead. Surely, it was time for things to progress as the scriptures told them. The prophets in so many places had said that Messiah would sit on David's throne, 2 Samuel 7:16 and there would be peace and joy without measure, Isaiah 65:17-25. Jesus' response to their question? They were not permitted to know how long there would be until these promises were fulfilled. In the meantime, they had work to do. They were to wait for the Holy Spirit to empower them and then, they were to spread the Good News. The same task Jesus has given each of His children. We are His ambassadors, who tell about His offer of reconciliation, 2 Corinthians 5:18-20.
Even having this wondrous work to do for the Lord, I would still love knowing the answers to my questions concerning God's timing.
1) How long will it be until our precious ones give their lives to Jesus?
2) How long will it be until Jesus touches that one who is broken?
3) How long will it be until that relationship is restored?
The list is part of each of our lives, and if the Lord wills it, we will see some of the answers here. In His perfect timing. One sweet proof we have concerning the God Who cares so intricately for the details of all for which we wait, is Jesus' coming to earth.
Galatians 4:4 says that in the fullness of time, God sent His son born of a woman. I love the word translated fullness. It speaks of something occurring at the best time such as a woman giving birth just when the timing is perfect or of fruit that is ripened to perfection on a tree. The plan for Jesus' coming to earth came in God's perfect timing. Neither early or late. Every detail was watched over by the Lord, and nothing thwarted even one detail of His plan. Only Almighty God can care for the just right timing of everything, and He is at work watching over myriads of timers. Even if He doesn't answer the question concerning "how much time is left" on each of them".