Timing is Everything

It seems uncanny how often the baby poops right before we walk out the door, the dog runs off, our keys go missing, the traffic is backed up… and timing just seems to be working against us. IMG_4243

I have often experienced nagging and discouraging “incidents” that result in altered plans – usually resulting in a greater degree of difficulty for what might have once been simple.

I have just come through such a season.  As I previously posted, my husband went through a knee replacement surgery three weeks ago.  The recovery is difficult and tedious.  I knew I would need an extra measure of God’s strength to be the helper he needs and prayed for such.  Being a (usually) healthy person,  I found it rather annoying before and during the week of his surgery to find myself with various maladies.  The saga began with a case of hip bursitis.  I have never had it before and never wish to have it again. It’s painful and makes walking, sitting, turning over…and really moving in any way excruciatingly difficult.  Bursitis also sounds like something someone older would get…so what’s with that?!   Fortunately, my dear chiropractor worked and worked – and gave it the magic electrical ultrasound wand –  so that after a few long days it was gone.  Relief?!…Well ..not yet.  This ordeal was followed by the passing of a kidney stone.    That was special.  (said no one, ever!)  Unfortunately this has become a nearly annual tradition for me– one I would care to quit.  Fortunately, it passed after a few days and all was good.  Well no…not really.  That was followed by pain I’ve experienced only a few times before…that is, the few times before when I’ve had a gallbladder attack.  This also lasted for several days.  The serendipitous aspect of this condition is that I can’t eat while it’s going on…so it’s a good week to weigh in at Weight Watchers.

At least during these “special events” the busyness of coming and going to and from the hospital and caring for Wyndham kept me from focusing on the discomfort – (sort of.)  As I was discouraged with the unfortunate timing  of these situations I was also reading through Exodus.  This scripture got my attention and in a strange sort of way, encouraged me.

Exodus 23:27-30

    “I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run. [28] I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way. [29] But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. [30] Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.

The Israelites were making their way to the Promised Land.  God, time and again, promised that he would be with them and bring them victory. However, it didn’t happen all at once.  God’s timing and our timing don’t always match.  I can be frustrated with the timing of events that happen or don’t happen as planned – by me, that is .  However, God has a different view of time and sees the big picture, which I can’t fully see – because I’m not God.  I wonder how frustrated or confused the Israelites were when they knew God had promised them victory but it did not come in the timing they likely expected.   This passage of scripture reminds me how detailed God is in the intricacies of our lives and the timing he sees as best for us – whether or not we understand.  He knew that if they had immediate victory the land would not support them and the wild animals would become too dangerous for them.  Who knew?!  Amazingly and again, God is in the details.  I am comforted, (even  though too often fighting with my own thinking of what is best)….knowing that God knows the timing that is needed for all things.  I don’t know why I experienced the nagging and painful difficulties while Wyndham was in the hospital.  But this I do know –

Isaiah 55:8-9

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

        neither are your ways my ways,”

declares the Lord.

    [9] “As the heavens are higher than the earth,

        so are my ways higher than your ways

        and my thoughts than your thoughts.






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  1. annie

    jeanie, i just read this same scripture yesterday, and i had the same thought. i was amazed by the amount of detail god plans in advance cause he sees so much further ahead. i was so encouraged by this scripture. thx for sharing…hugs annie

    • jeanieshaw

      Thanks Annie. Love you. Yes, I have to keep remembering this.

  2. marcia lamb

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts, Jeanie! This has been a season of incredible interruptions to “my plans” too. Thank you for reminding me of God’s timing and the need to trust it. My flu bug has allowed me to take some time to grieve the loss of my Father, for example.

    • jeanieshaw

      I’m sorry you have the flu…but grateful you are getting to take the time to grieve and remember. The poem you wrote was beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Marian Flammio

    Wow! This sounds so much like my situation, only reversed. I am experiencing a lot of pain currently due to fibromyalgia and pain in my back due to osteoarthritis. I was hoping to get help from my husband with keeping up with housework and making meals; however, he was recently diagnosed with diabetes and kidney stones (and possible kidney disease) along with gout. However, as he does not have a relationship with God, he is unable to overcome his own challenges and I know God has called me to rely more on him snd my sisters in the church. God is really honing my character through this, when I let him. Thx for posting your stories to encourage us all.

    • jeanieshaw

      Wow. I’m so sorry for all you and your husband are going through. Yes, it is hard and does bring us to our knees often. I hope things move forward in a good direction…and that you will feel God’s love in all of it. Love, Jeanie

  4. Lory

    Very encouraging to remember that God’s plan is so all inclusive. He took into consideration what condition the land would be in when the Israelites actually possessed it. It’s true, I definitely don’t think like God does.

    • jeanieshaw

      I loved talking about what we are learning in Exodus. I’ve been so encouraged. You are such a special friend with such a loving heart. I’m grateful for the times we get to sit and talk.

  5. Elizabeth Thompson

    Pardon the pun, but your timing with this post was perfect for some things I’m dealing with in my life. Thank you for sharing!

    • jeanieshaw

      Love you Elizabeth. I think of you and your FOUR children often…hoping all is going well with your precious new little one. Thanks always for the encouragement. Love you.


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About Jeanie Shaw

After retiring from forty-five years in full-time ministry, Jeanie Shaw went back to school to earn her master’s and doctorate in spiritual formation and discipleship. She also serves as a certified Christian life coach who loves helping people discover the joy, peace, and purpose that come from finding and following God’s plan for their lives. She has taught classes and workshops all over the world and has written numerous books. She has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a golden retriever who thinks he is human. When she is not reading, writing, coaching, teaching, or enjoying her family she might be found walking along rivers, learning new lessons about life.

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