Have you ever been in a rush to get to work, and managed to sail through green lights all the way? Or had your high-energy toddler drift off to sleep, just as you got to the words “The End” in her favorite storybook? Or, on a more spiritual plane, have you ever been first in a long confessional line?
If you’ve ever had any of these experiences, you’ve known the delight of God’s timing. Sometimes, as in these instances, the benefits of God’s timing appear immediate. But often, abiding by God’s timing can seem like an all-expense-paid trip to Purgatory. You know there’s an end in sight, but you have your doubts about how you’ll make it to the finish line of a difficult journey.
I’ve experienced both the short-term and the long-term benefits of God’s magnificent timing. Every day, I consider it a minor miracle when I can back my little sedan out of a parking space without colliding with someone racing through the parking lot in my apartment complex. Meanwhile, on the marathon front, I have seen potential house deals fizzle before my eyes — and realized, only in hindsight, that they just were not right for me.
But if you’re a natural worrier, how can you learn to love God’s timing? Here are four steps I’ve found helpful.
Pray for wisdom. With the gift of wisdom, I am better able to adjust to God’s timing. The more wisdom I think I attain, the more I realize that I don’t know everything. But God does. And He is a master of knowing when the circumstances are right.
Live in the moment. It has been said that it is not only the destination, but also the journey, that counts. While waiting for God to work the miracle I’m praying for, I can relish the everyday miracles of a magnificent blood-orange sunset … a child’s infectious laugh … or a tantalizingly ripe tomato.
Trust in God. Here is where the worrier is sorely tested. But developing trust in God means that you can also trust in His magnificent timing — even though, from your vantage point, it does not seem to make earthly sense. As Scripture tells us, there is a season for everything — and the Master Creator of the Seasons always knows best.
Fine-tune your relationship with the Blessed Mother. Talk about being surprised by God’s timing! Mary was a young girl when she learned from an angel that she would be the mother of the Savior. She had to set aside her own hopes and dreams to fulfill God’s ultimate dream for humanity. By turning to Mary, you are better-equipped to handle God’s timetable.
By following these simple but challenging steps, we can learn to set our schedules aside and trade our time for God’s time. In the end, we can become more relaxed, more faithful, less stressed, and more optimistic. And those qualities can come in handy — when your morning commute brings red light after red light. It’s just another sign that the One who loves you more than anyone else is in charge — and you can rest easy in His loving arms.
Copyright 2019 Maria V. Gallagher