Give yourself to the Lord; trust in him, and he will help you; he will make your righteousness shine like the noonday sun. Be patient and wait for the Lord to act. [Psalm 37:5-7a (GNT)]

raccoonsLast month, while walking the bird sanctuary boardwalk, we were blessed with sightings of two families of raccoons. Since then, we’ve looked carefully for those cute little rascals in that same area of the swamp but they’ve remained hidden. Yesterday, as we neared the end of our walk, we paused to chat with a man about the day’s sightings and mentioned our disappointment at not seeing the raccoons. As if on cue, one of those masked bandits climbed up the railing next to us and trotted several feet along the boardwalk before returning to the marsh to continue his breakfast. Thank you, God, for another of your “Aha” moments.

The unpredictable raccoon’s timing was perfect yesterday. God’s timing, while unpredictable, is perfect every day; we just don’t always appreciate it. I’m not sure David who spent years hiding from Saul and his army, thought God’s timing perfect and Mary and Joseph, who encountered an unasked for pregnancy, might not have been so sure about His timing either. Noah spent more than a year on a smelly noisy crowded boat, Job endured painful boils, and Joseph was a slave in Egypt for years—all of them probably doubted God’s perfect timing and thought He could have acted a bit faster. I look at my prayer list and see that God often seems painfully slow in providing His answers and yet, this morning, He answered another plea almost before the words had left my heart.

The raccoons’ purpose in the swamp has nothing to do making my walks more enjoyable. Their purpose revolves around survival and they are far more interested in berries, crayfish, frogs and each other than they are in entertaining me. God’s purpose has nothing to do with entertaining me, either! Moreover, God has a totally different concept of time than do I. Sarah and Abraham didn’t welcome God’s twenty-five year wait between His promise of a child and Isaac’s birth. Paul, who had a godly agenda in spreading the gospel to Rome, probably would have preferred skipping those years of imprisonment that delayed him. A godly agenda, however, doesn’t necessarily mean it is God’s agenda! He has his own timeline for us and often there is much we need to do or learn while we wait for Him to act. The imprisoned Paul had letters God wanted him to write and Sarah and Abraham learned the hard way about impatience, jealousy, and trusting God.

Thank you, God, for yesterday’s simple (and delightful) reminder that your agenda and timing, while not ours, are always perfect. Even when our plans are good ones, your plan is the only one that matters. Your objective is not to satisfy or entertain us—it is to teach us to trust you and to grow more like Christ. While we may not always understand or even appreciate your agenda, thank you for the reminder that faith in you means faith in both your plan and your timetable.

God’s job is to unfold our future. Our job is to glorify Him as He does. [Karen Ehman]

But do not forget one thing, my dear friends! There is no difference in the Lord’s sight between one day and a thousand years; to him the two are the same. The Lord is not slow to do what he has promised, as some think. Instead, he is patient with you, because he does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants all to turn away from their sins. [2 Peter 3:8-9 (GNT)] 

The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope. The Lord is good to everyone who trusts in him, So it is best for us to wait in patience—to wait for him to save us—And it is best to learn this patience in our youth. [Lamentations 3:22-27 (GNT)]