Timing is the Hard Part

Genesis 30:2 “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?” (NIV).

Observation: Jacob had set off on the task of siring twelve sons, each of whom would become head of one of the tribes of Israel. Although Rachel was the favored wife, it was through her sister, Leah, that the first four were born as Rachel fumed through her barrenness. In desperate jealousy, Rachel cried to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die,” (Gen. 30:1, NIV) which elicited Jacob’s angry response: “Am I in the place of God?”

Application: When this question appears in the midst of the story of God’s founding of the nation of Israel, it is hard to imagine the words coming from Jacob’s lips. Perhaps at long last he has learned to ask the right question.

As a young man Jacob had extorted the birthright of his older brother Esau through the price of one savory meal. Later, Jacob and his mother had connived to trick the dying Isaac into granting Jacob the generational blessing that should have been Esau’s. There is apparently nothing in Jacob to suggest he would later know how to hear God’s voice or harbor the inclination to wait on His timing. Nevertheless, Jacob had landed where God intended. After all, before the birth of twins Esau and Jacob, the Lord had said to Rebekah, “Two nations are in your womb; . . . one people will be stronger than the other; and the older will serve the younger” (Gen. 25:23, NIV).

God cares not only that I get the thing right, but that I get the timing and method right as well. It is sin to determine my destiny apart from God, but it is equally wrong when, having heard from Him as to my future, I then seize its fulfillment in my own timing, my own way, my own strength. Timing can be tricky. The man who, for example, says he wants to spend his retirement fund down to zero the day he dies illustrates the problem. He understands the purpose of the money, but knowing the day to calendar its depletion reminds me of the Grey Lines guide showing his patrons the Chicago alley where a murdered mobster was found with 27 cents in his pocket, whereupon one of the patrons remarked, “What great timing!”

When God has spoken to me about a thing, does it remain His if its fulfillment comes in my timing, by my schemes? He has authored a good and perfect plan for me. How great will be my joy when the fruit of my life is His in every way. I must press in, wait on Him, then press in some more.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that the plans You have for me are to prosper me, and not to harm me, plans to give me hope, and a future. Cause me to seek You with all my heart, Lord, that the fruit of my life will be pleasing to You in every way.

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