“Jesus said to them, ‘My time has not yet come, but your time is always here.’” — John 7:6 (ESV)
Recently, I started a book all about waiting — waiting for storms in life to pass, waiting for love, waiting for circumstances to change, waiting for opportunities — and how timing is always everything. More importantly, how God’s timing is always everything.
This reminded me of some sage advice the legendary Roger Federer gave to a younger player during one of the Laver Cup matches a few years back. The player was struggling against his opponent and couldn’t figure out how to turn the match around. Federer, full of experience, simply told him to wait for his chance … and then go for his shots. “Patience, then ‘boom!’” he advised.
We see this all the time in sports: A tennis player gets anxious, excited or impatient and tries to finish off a point, but ends up hitting the ball long or into the net; a baseball player tries to go for the big hit and ends up swinging through, striking out or grounding out. So often, when an athlete either wants it so bad or grows frustrated with the way the game is playing out, they start playing desperately and think that going big or going home is the way. But Federer raises a point here, and one that is Biblically supported: In sports or in life, patience is the way. If we do not learn how to wait well, things often don’t turn out well.
We as humans think we understand timing. Yet, sometimes we realize that we were merely guessing at the right time … and we missed it. We pressed or took matters into our own hands rather than having faith in the promises and the timing of God. Now, while there is certainly forgiveness to be found in God when this happens, we would certainly do better to take the Federer approach — to be patient, then go when God indicates.
Jesus once told His disciples when addressing their impatience over when He would reveal Himself and His Kingdom, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here” (John 7:6, ESV). The disciples tried to get Jesus to do certain things based on their finite understanding and sense of what timing felt right. But Jesus was quick to point out to them that, while their timing was always convenient from their perspective, He was operating on a Heavenly schedule, and His timing hadn’t arrived yet.
If we’re honest, we don’t know what God is up to, nor do we really understand what is best for us. The timing and means of certain dreams we hold, plans we have, or things we long for, or hope to see, isn’t really up to us. We are only acting based on the sliver of insight we have, and that is why we need the Spirit to show us what and when that is. We need to have patience. Then, when God indicates, we must move obediently and confidently, knowing we have His blessing and He will complete what He has set out to do.
God and His timing are never wrong. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of that and wait for things to develop as they’re intended.
— Katherine Singer
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