God's Timing

“Thankful for God’s timing.”
(The senior pastor and I are both preaching mini-sermons at tonight's
Thanksgiving Eve service. Here's mine.)

*Texts: Matthew 6:25-33 & Isaiah 40:31

In preparation for Thanksgiving these last few weeks, I’ve been pondering what I am most thankful for in the past year. There have been so many new adventures: graduation from seminary, a move to Minnesota, ordination and first call.

In the midst of all these transitions – what I am most thankful for this year is God’s timing. As much as God’s timing sometimes frustrates me, the Creator of All seems to be teaching me over and over again – not to worry; just to wait!

Last March I was in the middle of my senior year of seminary and I was doing a lot of what today’s gospel lesson says exactly NOT to do - WORRYING. All the seminary seniors gathered together in a room, sat in a big circle, and received an envelope. In the envelope was a letter that said what “Region” of the country that I was assigned to. It said: "Region 3."

Then, I was told that I could expect a call sometime in the next month from a bishop of a synod somewhere in that region. And that is the synod where I would go for my first call to a church. And then after that, there was more waiting to find out which congregation I would actually get to interview with. It’s a very exciting and anxiety-provoking time. Especially for planners like myself. All my classmates and I were going through the process at totally different paces. Some people get phone calls right away. Others wait for months and continue to wait even today.

In the midst of this process, I kept coming across the same verse. Over and over. Isaiah 40:31 – “Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength…” Seriously, it felt like this verse was everywhere I went! I was in the bookstore looking for a new Bible, and there it was! On the cover. (Show the Bible).

The truth is, though, that it was exactly the right verse I needed to keep hearing: over and over. Wait for the Lord. Wait for the Lord. Wait for the Lord. Now those months of anxiety and unknowns seem like the blink of an eye! And I am so truly thankful for the call to this congregation. God’s timing was the right timing. It always is.

We all have examples of things going on in our lives that leave us in periods of “waiting.” Whether it’s waiting for a job, or a relationship to get figured out, or treatments for an illness to start working. There are times in life when we feel stuck. We don’t know what’s ahead. Sometimes we even feel like God has forgotten about us. But God hasn’t forgotten! God is with us in the midst of whatever is going on! God journeys with us as we wait and trust – and attempt to stop worrying.

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I pray that you are all able to intentionally set a few moments aside and think about thankfulness. Yesterday I was speaking with someone who, despite extremely challenge circumstances, proclaimed to me, “Everyday should be Thanksgiving. There is so much to be thankful for.” May that same enthusiasm fill our hearts as well! Amen.

1 comment:

  1. And your timing with this word is just right too -- for this moment in my life and for Advent as well.