S: 6Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. 7The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. 8You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” 9After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee. 10However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. (John 7:6-9)
O: Jesus’s brothers want him to leave the Galilee region and go to Jerusalem to attend the Festival of Tabernacles. They tell him that to have maximum impact on the people and systems of the day, he needs to be more public with his ministry and message. The Festival – where thousands of people would be gathered – is a perfect platform for that to happen. Jesus responds to them with a statement about timing: theirs versus God’s. For them, any and every time will serve their purposes. But Jesus doesn’t do things according to human timelines. He operates according to a different understanding of time: timing that flows from the unfolding of God’s plan in and through him. He does go to the festival - but not because his brothers wanted him to. He goes when it’s God’s time.
A: How often do I want things done according to my timing? How often do I rely more on what makes sense to me about when and where and how God should operate in my life and in the world? How often do I run ahead of God and try to make things happen, because for me “any time will do?” Then when things don’t work out as I want them to, I realize it might have been my time, but it wasn’t yet God’s time. The result then is I use more time to “clean up” from not waiting for God’s time. And then there are the moments when God’s time comes and it doesn’t fit my timeline. I’m to busy or to preoccupied with something else or I’m just lazy or not wanting to be bothered by something God calls me to do. How often do I miss the moment – and the blessing! - when God’s time comes and I choose not to respond?
P: Father, forgive me for running ahead of you, or failing to respond when you say it’s time. Help me trust that your timing is always perfect. Keep me tuned into your voice and heart, so that when your time comes for every part of my life, I’m ready to follow.