Timing

On Friday I attended a funeral of the grandfather of three young adults who have been and are near and dear to my heart. A few years ago, they moved away so I get to see them only rarely. I\’m so grateful I could be with them that difficult afternoon. Brandy\’s hug said it all…

The other two, Gareth and Teja, are 16 and 15 yrs old respectively. I haven\’t seen them in at least a year and in the mean time they have changed from kids to young adults, it took some doing to recognize them. They seem well and well adjusted, they\’re teenagers without all the usual chaos that accompanies most teens. God is being so gracious…

Seeing them reminded me of a time that gave me a glimpse into God\’s viewer. Several years ago I was our church\’s children\’s choir director (those of you who know me are smiling…I\’m not a natural with a room full of young souls). The choir kids named themselves the SPIT Choir (acronym for Singing Presbyterians in Training)–the kids voted for \”SPIT\”…what could I do? I was brand new to this choir director thing and thought the kids could be trusted to name themselves…as I recall Charlie (my son) was the ringleader on getting \’SPIT\’ votes. Needless to say, introductions were a little awkward as I don\’t say \’spit\’ very gracefully…

Oh, back to the glimpse into God\’s viewer: one of our practice days happened to be Charlie\’s & Gareth\’s birthday (they share the same birthday) so I decided it would be grand to bake two cakes for our birthday boys so the choir could surprise them with a mini celebration and cake after practice. So I baked, decorated and snuck the cakes into church without detection.

Before choir practice officially started, we always had a time where kids could submit prayer requests for the opening prayer. Gareth raised his hand and said he wanted a birthday cake…evidently he had not received one, and the day was just about done. I almost started crying, but managed to hold it together and prayed his request during our opening prayer.

A big part of me wanted to run and grab the cake and start the party right away–fulfill that request right then and there. Make Gareth\’s day and do it immediately–show him that God can and does answer prayer on the spot. But, I knew that it wasn\’t time for cake and celebration–it was time to practice, that was the reason we gathered, the reason all the kids were there. God had said \’yes\’ (the cake was waiting), we just needed to be patient for the right time for it to be brought about.

At the funeral pastor read Ecclesiastes 3, you know the Scripture that says there is a time for every thing and then it lists just about everything there is a time for (you might know it as a 60\’s song). It ties in well here, for in that prayer request moment it was time for practice, for work. Later was a time for \”Happy Birthday\” and blowing out candles.

I think God gave me a glimpse into His heart. I think often He wants to fulfill our prayer requests immediately, yet He sees the bigger picture and sets a better time for that fulfillment to happen. We need to be present doing what we\’re called to do and wait for His timing. Granted, we don\’t always get what we want, but we can rest in the fact that He always provides what we need…

Gareth\’s smile in front of that birthday cake is something I\’ll never forget. My prayer is that it gave him a deepening faith in a God who sees, knows and hears him. May he know he never walks alone…

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