Why God doesn’t follow our schedule

By Greg Laurie

I wear a watch, and I check the time quite often. That’s because I like to know how much time I have as I go through my day. Do I have enough time to do this? Do I have enough time to do that? My life is governed by a schedule, just as yours probably is.

But God isn’t bound by the schedules we live on. That’s because God lives in the eternal realm, while we live in the physical and temporal realm. We live on a human schedule. Therefore, it’s hard for us to understand how God can work outside of our time frame.

Maybe you’ve found yourself feeling frustrated or even a little upset with God because something you’re waiting for hasn’t happened. Maybe you even think that God has let you down. But just hang on. You don’t know what God has in store.

God is above time. And when it seems as though he’s late, this is what we need to remember: God is never late. He’s always on time. It’s just that he keeps a different schedule than we do.

Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said, “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT).

In the New Testament we find an account of Jesus’ disciples in which it appeared as though God had forgotten about his own children as they faced great challenges and difficulties. But in the end we see that God knew exactly what he was doing from the very beginning.

Jesus had just performed his most popular miracle to date: He fed 5,000 men, plus women and children. The multitudes had gathered to hear him teach, and then lunchtime rolled around.

People were hungry. There was a boy in the crowd who had some loaves and fishes, and Jesus miraculously multiplied that food. The disciples then distributed it to the large number of people who had gathered.

This was a popular miracle because everyone could personally benefit from it. People appreciated the fact that the deaf were hearing and the blind were seeing, but a free lunch? That was the kind of miracle they could really sink their teeth into.

So right then and there, they decided they were going to crown Jesus as king – whether he liked it or not. Commenting on the same event, John’s gospel said they sought to take him by force (see John 6:15).

They basically said, “We’ve unanimously elected you. Come and rule over us. And by the way, we like to have lunch around noon every day.”

Jesus immediately could sense a problem developing, not only because these people had the wrong idea and were missing why he’d come, but also because he saw his disciples getting caught up in this euphoria and misdirection.

The disciples had a desire for positions of authority when Christ established his kingdom. He knew this could be too much for them, so he made them get into a boat and go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.

This strongly suggests they initially were reluctant to do this. They didn’t want to leave. And then, as they made their way across the sea, a severe storm came.

Meanwhile, Jesus went up to a mountain to pray. No doubt he was praying for his own disciples as they went across. He probably was praying with his eyes open as he kept a watchful eye on his disciples out in the middle of that storm on the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus never lost sight of the disciples as he was on the mountain and they were on the sea. They may have lost sight of him, but he never lost sight of them. Proverbs 15:23 tells us, “The Lord is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good” (NLT).

Yet the storm only got worse, and the disciples were panicking. Then Jesus finally came to them, walking on the water. The Bible tells us it was the fourth watch of the night, which was about 3 in the morning. This means the disciples had been at sea for at least nine hours, most of that time in the fierce storm.

It also was the time just before dawn. Jesus came to them when it seemed as though he wasn’t going to come at all.

Why did Jesus delay his arrival? If Jesus really loved them, why did he wait so long?

In the midst of tragedy or hardship or even death, we might ask the same. If Jesus really loves me, why did he let this happen?

Though we cannot see how a situation will end or why it has come upon us, we can know that it’s controlled by him. God knows what he is doing.

As you face your problems today, would it comfort you to know that Jesus is interceding for you at this very moment? Would it encourage you? Would it give you hope and strength?

That is what the Bible teaches. Romans 8:34 says, “Who then will condemn us? No one – for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us” (NLT).

Hebrews 7:25 tells us, “Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf” (NLT). Jesus is praying for you, just as he prayed for his disciples.

When we’re going through life’s storms, we may not feel his presence at a given moment. In fact, we may feel that he has abandoned us altogether. But he’s always watching over us. We may lose sight of God, but he never loses sight of us.

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