When God’s Timing Doesn’t Make Sense
Today I voted. I hope you did too (or will before the day is over).
Have you ever wondered why we vote on the second Tuesday in November? Evidently, it’s because of farmers. Not that they made the rule. But it was because of them we vote when we do.
Ok, so it wasn’t “all” because of them. There was a time when every community could vote when they chose. This meant some election results were tabulated and publicized well in advance of others, creating an unfair situation for candidates.
When congress decided it was best to have one election day, the day had to be determined. It was 1845 and our country was highly agrarian. Therefore, it made sense to consider the needs of farmers when choosing a day. Farmers went to church on Sunday, so that day was out. Many of them took their produce to market on Wednesdays, so that day wasn’t good either. Depending on the location of a farm, it might take farmers an entire day, perhaps two, to reach a poll. Thus, Tuesday was chosen to allow for travel between Sunday and Wednesday. Since farmers were busy planting their crops in the spring and harvesting in the early fall, it was thought the second week in November would offer the best timing. Everyone could vote just before the weather became a problem.
Maybe someday the timing for general elections will change. But for now, if you are a farmer, enjoy the perk. You deserve it for feeding the rest of us.
The timing of events usually has a cause, and once we discover it, it makes perfect sense. In the meantime, it can lead to frustration and impatience.
So it is with God’s timing.
I know some grow tired of clichés such as “There is a reason” or “All in God’s timing”, but if we believe God is in control then we must also assume there is a logic behind His timing.
The scriptures give us a few clues. In a conversation with his nervous brothers, Joseph put their minds at ease by assuring them he was not going to harm them for the pain they had caused in his life. Joseph understood God’s timing and providence enough to be able to say, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” (Genesis 50:20). When the apostle Paul was prevented from a planned trip to Asia (Acts 16:6), he attributed the change in plans to the Holy Spirit who wanted him elsewhere. Paul was also aware that sometimes God allows Satan to mess up our timing, such as in the case of the apostle’s missed opportunities to visit the church in Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 2:18).
Peter tells us God is patient in bringing history to a close because He wants to give more people time to repent (2 Peter 3:9). And James encourages us to endure hardship as we wait on the Lord, just as a farmer waits for his crops to mature (James 5:7).
But even with these biblical insights, we are left to discern how God might be working in our specific situation. Is He allowing us to suffer in order to show patience to others? Is our way being purposefully blocked for a greater purpose? Has God decided to let Satan impact our plans for some ultimate good?
In time, God might show us the answers to these questions.
Unfortunately, we can’t Google “why?” and get the answer.
Well, we can, but the answers we find on the internet might prove to be unreliable.
The best answer, as hard as it is to accept, is that “While there is a reason, we may never know the reason.” Our ability to accept this truth may require extra grace. It will certainly demand trust.
Just know that, while God’s timing may seem mysterious to us, there is a logic behind the veil that separates heaven from earth. It could be beyond our comprehension, which might be why God doesn’t show us everything.
Until He does, I will continue to vote on the second Tuesday in November.
Unless that changes.
Which it might.
…He never changes.
And His timing is always perfect.