We’re in the last few days of Advent—a time of anticipation, waiting, and suspense. Advent, which means “coming,” is a time to remember how the people of Israel waited for the coming of the Messiah. One of the beautiful messages of Advent is that no matter how long our wait may seem, God always comes through at just the right time.
God had determined a specific time in history for His Son to come into the world. Not too early and not too late. Scripture says, “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law” (Galations. 4:4, NLT).
The “right time” came.
Do you ever have trouble waiting for the “right time”? Do you ever have trouble believing that the events in your life are happening at the “right time”?
It probably didn’t seem like the right time for a baby announcement when Joseph discovered that Mary was with child—before their wedding day! But an angel told Joseph in a dream not to be afraid; this was the right time for Mary to conceive; this child was conceived from the Holy Spirit.
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It probably didn’t seem like the right time to give birth to a baby, as Mary and Joseph approached Bethlehem on a donkey, tired from long hours on the road, and unable to find room at the inn. What was Mary thinking as her labour pains kicked in? Were things going according to her “birth plan”?
But all of these things—the wonder of Christ’s conception and the unusual events surrounding his birth—were part of God’s plan and a perfect fulfillment of Old Testament prophesy. Nothing was random or haphazard. Scripture says that God “works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” (Ephesians. 1:11).
Just as there was a right time for Christ to be born, there was also a right time for Christ to die. Romans 5:6 says, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (NIV).
There it is again. The “right time.”
God saw our need for a Saviour and appointed a time for Jesus to die for our sins. This, too, was part of the original plan. But did it seem “right” at the time?
What was going through Mary’s mind as she gazed up at her son, hanging beaten and bruised on a cross? There is never a “right time” for a parent to lose a child.
What were Jesus’ followers thinking as they tried to process his death? Luke 24 shares a story of two Christ followers discussing the crucifixion with downcast faces. “We had hoped that he [Jesus] was the one who was going to redeem Israel,” they said. It did not seem like the right time for their leader to die.
But God could see the bigger picture. He saw a powerful resurrection. He saw redemption. He saw generations and generations of people from every tongue and tribe finding salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. He saw Jesus crowned with glory, reigning forever.
God’s timing does not always seem right to us. In fact, it can feel very wrong. But God sees the bigger picture. He can work through tragedy and brokenness to make way for new life.
Are you anxious? Impatient? Struggling with your circumstances? Rest in the promise that God’s timing is just right.