This past Monday, I was given the opportunity to go fishing with my wife and in-laws. We headed to Virginia Beach on what turned out to be a beautiful day! As this was my first time to fish from the ocean (I, myself, am partial to fresh water) I had no idea what I was doing. I took our two bass rods with a 15 lb. limit. After attaching the hooks, bait, and anchor, the pole was already bending over itself! This is how our day began.
A few hours and sandwiches later, I began to catch fish! I caught two of them, one right after another and was very proud of the little fish I brought in. Others on the fishing pier got nibbles but I was the only to bring in two of them. The following day, my wife and her father returned to the same pier, this time at high tide (it was low tide the previous day). Within an hour, they had caught 6 fish and ended the day with over 50 catches! Needless to say, our freezer is now stocked with 32 ocean fish waiting to be cooked at a huge fish fry! Why did I not catch 50 fish? Why did I only catch two of them and received two more nibbles?
The answer is my timing. Timing is everything. It is everywhere from our wrists to when we decide to “pop the question,” to when it is time to let your child go (whether it is to their first day of pre-school or their move across country to begin college). Timing is even discussed in the Bible. The writer of Ecclesiastes writes:
“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.” –NASB
It was not until reading Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians that I understood this and its relation to our Christian lives. Many times in life we feel shoved around, beaten, broken, bloodied, and worthless. We spend countless hours in prayer seeking for answers and help from God. We don’t understand when that loved one dies or when our child turns out a bit less than perfect. Why does God continue to allow these things? Why does He allow the suffering of the saints while all the time we cry out to God “how long O, Lord! How long?” We feel forgotten and maybe, sometimes even forsaken by God. Is this hitting home yet? Have you ever felt this way?
I felt this way, and every time I return to this way of feeling and thinking I come across 1 Corinthians 10:13 and three words change my whole outlook. Those words are “GOD IS FAITHFUL.” What a powerful phrase…”God IS faithful.” In the midst of chaos, “God is faithful.” When you cry out to God for help and it does not seem to come, “God is faithful.” When everyone turns on you and you feel left alone with nobody to love you, “God is faithful.” And, when you near death because of what you believe and do, and you are placing your right foot into the fiery furnace to be martyred, “God is faithful!” Because you do not see, hear, or feel God working, does not mean He isn’t. It is His pleasure to come to our rescue, but He waits till just the right time before springing into action.
Any fisherman knows that catching the “big one” is all about the timing. If you are on a fishing pier at Virginia Beach, you must know that high tide brings in the fish. A lion prowls around undetected before springing on his prey at the moment it is most vulnerable. Leaves of all trees wait until the cooler months to shed and the warmer months to bud.
God is the same way. God waits until the perfect time to act. He does not go too soon, nor too late, but at the perfect time. He only knows that perfect time slot. When you find yourself wondering where He is or when He is going to act, trust that He already has in mind the solution and is waiting for the opportune time for “God is faithful.”