At Just The Right Time
By Chaplain Scott McCrystal
Have you ever stopped to consider the importance of timing? Technology controls everything from traffic lights to the number of beats per minute of a human heart. Factory assembly lines precisely time the production of everything from cell phones to cars. Precise timing has guided people to the moon and to the lowest depths of the ocean.
But the most precise human timing pales in comparison to what God does every second of every day. From our planet, to our solar system, to our galaxy and beyond, without precise timing our universe would devolve into chaos.
More amazing yet is God’s timing in coming to Earth to rescue us from our sins. “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship” (Galatians 4:4,5, NIV). Just think — at the perfect point in history, Jesus made a way for you to spend eternity in heaven with Him. The Creator of everything cares so much for you that He sacrificed His Son to pay the penalty for your sins. The door is wide open for you to come into right relationship with God.
But God’s perfect timing isn’t limited to your future in heaven. His sovereign ability to act at just the right moment in your life today demonstrates His incredible love for you. Sometimes we recognize God’s miraculous intervention, but so often it goes unnoticed until we look back and see what God has done.
I’ve experienced God’s perfect timing on numerous occasions, but one stands out. Eight years ago, my wife started telling me I needed to see a dermatologist. For months I ignored her comments. Finally, she scheduled an appointment, and I went to see the doctor.
The dermatologist quickly created a bloodbath, cutting numerous skin samples for processing at the lab. Days later we got a phone call saying I had melanoma and needed immediate surgery. I didn’t even know what melanoma was, and I certainly didn’t know how deadly it could be.
I had surgery. When I woke up from the anesthesia, my surgeon looked me in the eye and told me how fortunate I was. Apparently, the melanoma had penetrated several layers of skin in my shoulder area but had not made it through the final layer. Had the surgery occurred even a week later, the melanoma would likely have spread into my blood stream and killed me just months or even weeks later. The Lord spoke to my wife at just the right time. Thankfully, she listened.
What about you? Can you recall events when the Lord intervened at a pivotal moment? It doesn’t have to be a life-or-death event. He cares about every aspect of your life. Maybe He opened a job opportunity or helped locate just the right deal on a car purchase. Perhaps He allowed you to hear your baby’s first words or see your son score his first touchdown.
God’s perfect timing, though, doesn’t automatically generate a positive outcome. Our participation and choices can make a difference. All too frequently the Lord’s perfectly timed intervention is rejected. One of the saddest verses in Scripture is John 1:11: “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.”
We’re fast approaching Christmas, the day we celebrate God’s sending Jesus on a great rescue mission. The Bible tells us in several places that Jesus came at “just the right time.” Some received Him, but many rejected Him as the Messiah. The same applies today.
So let me pose two questions. First, have you accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord? If you have, that’s awesome! If not, may I remind you that your decision to accept or reject Jesus is the most important and far-reaching choice you will ever make. It will echo into eternity.
I’m not trying to frighten you — simply reporting what God’s Word tells us. Jesus is coming back. We don’t know when, but it could be soon — very soon. Please don’t miss your opportunity.
Second, even if you’re spiritually right with the Lord, which people in your life have yet to receive Jesus or you simply don’t know their spiritual condition? They may be family members, friends, or co-workers. Believe me, I know how difficult it can be to approach someone you care about on this topic. No one likes to feel rejected, or even hated. It has happened to me on many occasions. Jesus reminds us: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” (John 15:18, NIV).
The Lord is always faithful to do His part and do it at just the right time. Perhaps today you can make a phone call or set up a lunch appointment to share the gospel with that person who has not yet decided to follow Jesus.