I was visiting a friend years ago in Florida and we were enjoying juicy mangoes from his parent’s orchard. It was a hot, sunny day, and we were discussing how some of the mangoes tasted sweeter than others.
I asked why a mango may look delicious on the outside but some of them tasted sour. I mean, what did I know being from Michigan?
Just then his mom walked by and she told me, “If we cut the mango before its ripe, it will taste sour. If it’s been on the ground for some time, it’s rotten and cannot be eaten. But we love to eat mangoes that just fell off of the tree because they are the best and tastiest!”
My friend added, “So it is a matter of timing, like you are able to hit a baseball thrown by a pitcher. You’ve learned how to read a baseball and hit it at different speeds.”
Many things are like that. The right timing is essential. I asked the right question at the wrong time once and learned from that experience that it led to a wrong thing. I drove half way through a stop light at an intersection once due to being distracted by friends in the car. Fortunately, no one was hurt and I did not cause an accident. Plenty of folks were honking their horns at me, though. It took me while to learn the fundamentals of playing chess as opposed to checkers.
We live in a time of instant gratification, drive-through options, and one click on-line purchases where waiting is difficult. Some of us find ourselves praying to God, “Lord, I need patience and I need/want/expect it now!”
Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
Solomon, the son of King David in the Older Testament of the Bible, authored a book of Wisdom called Ecclesiastes. In it, he stated that, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the sun” (3:1).
Our timing often differs from the timing of God. We regularly face confusion, pain, anger, disappointment, and even discouragement when our expectations are not met according to our schedule. We have a set way of doing things and assume God is at our beck and call. I struggled why a girl was not interested in me yet I had not even approached her for a date. Why can’t she read my mind and be friendly toward me, God? How immature, naïve, and unrealistic I was.
Stories from the lives of Abraham, Esther, Daniel, and Jonah reveal that God is neither early or late. He is always on time. Like Solomon wrote in 3:11, “God has made everything beautiful in its time.”
How can you apply Ecclesiastes 3:1 to your life and context this week? How can you develop patience and learn to trust God for His perfect timing? How can you use waiting to your benefit?
You may be praying for something and the Lord seems silent. You may need perspective that relational things take different amounts of time than homework. Walk wisely. Remember, His timing is always perfect. By trusting God, you will develop patience as you wait for His time.
Love is a verb,
©2019 by Mike Olejarz