You've seen this, either on TV or first-hand: the husband sitting in the car, impatiently waiting, anger slowly (or quickly) rising inside as he waits for his wife. They're already late and there's still no sign of her walking out the door.
The age-old stereotype of women being late. Now, my husband likes to say that "stereotypes are stereotypes because they're true." While this can often be the case, there are always exceptions to the rule and I am not (usually) that wife. (We've all had an off day or two where we just can't get it together and out the door on time though, am I right?)
Currently I'm in a season of life where I am really waiting upon the Lord. I've done what I can do from a human perspective and, to say it simply, it has not gone the way I wanted it to. "If I work hard and give it all I have, then it will just happen," I told myself.
While our effort is important, more for our own sake and not because God needs us (faith without works is dead), ultimately everything happens when God wants it to happen.
My Royal Mess Up
That can sound like a selfish aspect of the Lord's character but imagine it in light of this personal flop I made last Christmas.
For the last year or two, I've been wanting a KitchenAid mixer. As a lover of all things baking and gadgets, I'm surprised I didn't register for this during our wedding (dang it!). Now, Jordan was acutely aware of how much I desired one of these shiny appliance (in red) for Christmas this last year. There was no question that it was on my list.
Well, one day early in December, my mom and I were walking around TJ Maxx. We're scanning their (phenomenal) home section and what do I stumble upon without even looking? A shiny empire red, 5 quart KitchenAid mixer for the cheapest price I had seen. I geeked out! It was the exact model, color, everything that I wanted and there were only two in the store.
I couldn't pull my phone out fast enough to snap a picture and send it to my loving husband, telling him what a good deal I found and asking if I could snag it. Thanks to iPhone's read receipts I knew he saw my text. But for some reason he wasn't replying! (Now, I'm sure you're all aware by now why he wasn't replying, but I was too excited to be rational).
Here's an idea of how our phone convo went:
Me: Babe! They have the most perfect of perfect KitchenAid mixer here at TJ Maxx! Cheaper than I've ever seen one, it's everything I've wanted, I'm thinking I'll grab it now, ok?
Me: I mean unless you've already got it figured out for my Christmas present than I won't, but it was too good to pass up! Babe, say something...
J: No matter what I say right now, I lose.
Me: What do you mean?? (blissfully naïve)
J: If I tell you not to get it, you know you're getting it for Christmas. If I tell you to get it, we end up with two KitchenAid mixers.
(now at this point I'm thinking he asked someone else in our family to get it for me)
Me: Ohh right (duh, Niki). Ok well nevermind then!
J: I've been saving up for the last few months to surprise you with it and have been storing it at my dad's so you wouldn't think you were getting it. Now you know and there's not really a surprise element anymore.
Me: (begin to wallow in self-pity, feeling like a horrible wife) Ahh, Jordo, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to ruin it! I just got so excited it didn't even occur to me that you would already have this figured out.
J: It's ok, I'm just disappointed because I was so excited to surprise you. Just don't buy anything else before Christmas, ok?
You guys. My heart just broke. I was standing in T.J. Maxx in tears, feeling so bad that I robbed Jordan of the joy of giving me a gift I had been longing for. I have this personality where I cannot let things I do go, down to the silliest thing in the world. This was probably one of the hardest examples.
Our Impatience vs. His Control
Now let me bring this full circle. I was so anxious to have what I wanted, when I wanted it that I wasn't thinking about the big picture. It's a silly example in comparison, I know.
But when it comes to our desires, hopes, dreams, ideas, or plans, as followers of Jesus Christ we can rest in the fact that He is in control. Jesus is the most punctual person that has ever existed. He is never late. Nor is He ever early. He doesn't forget what you need or miss deadlines. He works in His time, which is sovereign, perfect and good.
As I look back on my life, I can attest to the truth that He has never let me down. Jesus has held true to His promise to "never leave us nor forsake us." As the song Oceans by Hillsong says, "you've never failed and you won't start now."
In the hardest seasons of my life, when I felt at a complete loss for what to do or how to move on, I see now how Jesus met me in those times and provided exactly what I needed in the timing I needed it.
As we prepare to celebrate Easter this Sunday (and I don't mean celebrating the Easter bunny, baskets, or egg hunts) let us pause to reflect on the perfection of Jesus' timing.
The period Jesus chose to walk on the earth, live a perfect life, die a gruesome death and then raise from the dead was perfect. Every person he encountered, miracle he performed, life he touched was not by random happenstance but by God's divine plan.
Take heart today, friends, and find comfort in knowing that whatever you are facing, He is aware of every detail, need, and desire of your heart. Trust the most punctual Person who has ever existed to show up and meet your needs, in His way and His time.
The Risen One will rise to the occassion in His perfect timing.