Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. – John 7:6
In the above verse, Jesus is talking to his brothers about timing. They thought that it was time for him to start doing things in public but Jesus knew it wasn’t. His brothers were putting a man-made time limit on Jesus because they wanted to see something happen now. Most of all they wanted to know if what they had heard about Jesus was true or not.
Putting a man-made time limit on God speaks volumes about what we think of Him. We want everything to take place when we think it should. We get impatient when we don’t get answers in a timely fashion. The longer it takes the more demands we place on God. Eventually, we tell God we want an answer at a specific time, therefore giving Him our timing for when something has to occur.
Unfortunately, giving God a specific time to answer our requests shows that we lack faith and perhaps in a way good judgement. Most of the time when we give God a specific time, we are telling ourselves that if He doesn’t answer by then, it is time to give up and move on to something else. We fail to remember that God’s timing is not our timing – for all you know God could give the answer to your request within the next day, week or even longer.
For God, time is irrelevant. He doesn’t need a watch, clock or calendar (all of which are man-made devices) to tell when the time has come to make things happen. If He doesn’t answer your requests within the time period you give him, it doesn’t necessarily mean no, it could mean just not yet. It really does come down to any time will do for us and giving God a time limit will end up with us being the ones who will be disappointed.
From the beginning, God had a timeline for everyone and everything. Our demands for answering us when we think He should, will not change this fact. Whatever God wants to do will happen at His appointed time and not ours. To God, any time will not do, it is the time that he has determined that does.
As humans, we also tend to look at time in a linear fashion. After we set a plan in motion, we expect it play out in a certain way and we again expect God to answer within that time period or after a certain event has transpired. If He doesn’t do what we expect Him to God when we think it should happen, we get angry and/or discouraged. In this example of man-made time, we forget that God is the one who is in control. He will give an answer when the time is right or after a few more things have transpired (including those we haven’t thought of).
Man-made timing is all about us and getting what we want when we want it or think we should have it. Instead of putting (time) restrictions on what God can do in our lives we should be remembering that God has got His timing for us already in motion and it started long before we were even born.
*Originally published on Inspirational Christian Blogs in October 2016