Timing and the Art of Waiting

Timing is everything! This saying used to stress me out. What if I miss God’s timing? How do I know what HE wants me to do? What if I do the wrong thing, and then my life is over! (Insert head butt on desk). Rest assured, there is grace in the detours and grace in the waiting. Whether you’re wanting a job promotion or waiting to see God’s promises fulfilled in your life, the timing of it all can be stressful and filled with worry, anxiety, and fear. This is not what God desires for us. Fear of missing God’s timing in the future cripples us from actually walking in God’s purposes now.

In John 7, Jesus’ brothers encourage Him to go back to Judea so that people would see all the miracles Jesus could do, basically asking him to self-promote. After consulting His Father, Jesus told them it wasn’t His time to go yet, so they left without him. Scripture says that Jesus ended up going to Judea after all, but after his brothers left, and in secret. He laid low for a while, and then when He knew He had the go-ahead from His Father, He went to the temple and began to teach. Following Jesus’ words and example in John 7, we see that proper timing requires submissionhumility, and readiness:

  1. Jesus submitted everything, including his feelings, thoughts, emotions, and plans to the Father. He never made a move without seeking His Father’s face first, and getting His approval. Let’s make sure our dreams are God’s dreams for us. Let’s make sure our desires and plans are His desires and plans. Letting go of dreams that are ours but never His is difficult, but necessary. The sooner we do it, the better.

  2. Jesus showed humility by going to the Feast secretly, not publicly. Jesus’ motives were always pure and soaked in humility. He did not do things for personal gain or to be seen. He did not perform miracles to get more fans. He performed miracles to point others to the Father. Shouldn’t we do the same in all our roles? Do our actions and attitude in the workplace, at home, and in ministry represent the Lord well? One of the most important aspects of leadership and promotion is being teachable. We cannot be teachable without laying down pride and maintaining humility.

  3. Jesus was ready as soon as God gave His approval. He made himself known to teach in God’s timing, not His or his brother’s timing. Have you done everything to prepare for the dream you want fulfilled or the promise you are waiting on? Have you been studying new concepts and job responsibilities, obtaining further certification or job training, seeking advice from a mentor in your chosen field, practicing, reading, or educating yourself? The Bible tells us to be ready in and out of season. Your opportunity for promotion may come suddenly and quickly. Are you ready and equipped to the best of your ability?

Romans 4:20-21 says, "Yet he [Abraham] did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised." While he waited for God’s promises to be fulfilled, Abraham focused on truly knowing and trusting God. It's not only about what God does FOR us, but about who He is TO us.

If you are in a season of waiting on God’s timing or in a season of defeat wondering if God’s promises for your life will ever actually happen, let Jesus’ example in John 7 be an encouragement of how He handled timing and waiting with submission, humility, and readiness. John 7:18 recaps it all: “He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the One who sent him, is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.” When we follow the voice of God we need not fear accuracy of timing.

Karen Harmon

Karen Harmon is a wife, homeschooling mother, and physical therapist. She is active serving in her church through worship, small groups, and media. You can connect with Karen on her website.


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