Time is a funny thing. Some days we wish it would slow down, and some days we wish it would speed up. But ultimately, time cannot be controlled (and being told I can’t control something is up there with my top five least favorite things to hear).
Among other things, I have a major idol of control. I’m not sure if it’s a coping mechanism or a “there’s safety in numbers” sort of thing, but I frequently remind myself that most women struggle with the idol of control. It makes me feel a bit more normal when I think that’s just how God created me and all women. But that’s not how He created us. Our idol of control is a result of the Fall–that’s why it makes life so hard and hurts so much when it’s disrupted. And being in a season of raising support (sorry, I’m a broken record) means my idol of control is disrupted on a daily basis, which, in turn, means my idols of comfort and ease are also disrupted.
The biggest way my idol of control has been disrupted has to do with time (I’m bringing it all together, I promise!). At the start of this support-raising season, I set a goal for myself: to be at 100% of my goal by January 2017. That gave me a solid six months to spend quality time with my family and friends in my hometown and to reach my support goal. But God had much different plans for me.
I’m pretty convinced that God’s timing is something I will never fully understand until I am in heaven speaking to Him face-to-face. Any time I plan something out in my mind it always seems like the greatest possible outcome, but it is never how things actually happen. And that is because God’s plans are far greater than ours. That phrase, “God’s plans are greater than ours,” is one of those cliché phrases that I’ve been saying over and over to myself for years, and I think it was beginning to lose its meaning. Until recently.
Most days I wish I were at 100% of my support goal just so I won’t have to focus on raising support full-time anymore. And most days I forget that the Lord has a plan for me in this process–a plan that is far greater than just providing finances for me. Going into this season I knew God was going to teach me great things and draw me closer to Him, but I never could have imagined what He has actually done in my heart in this time. When I finally realized this, the song “Not In a Hurry” by Will Reagan and United Pursuit became the desire of my heart:
“Lord, I don’t want to rush on ahead
In my own strength
When you’re right here
I’m not in a hurry
When it comes to your Spirit
When it comes to your presence
When it comes to your voice
I’m learning to listen
Just to rest in your nearness
I’m just starting to notice
You are speaking
Open my eyes; I want to see you more clearly
Open my ears; I want to hear you speak
Tell me your thoughts, what’s on your mind
I’ll be your friend, I want to see through your eyes”
A couple of days ago, one of my future LA roommates had a dream that I went from 64% of my goal to 100% in a week. To me that sounds so crazy, but to God it’s totally possible. I believe God can definitely make that happen if that’s His will, but if it’s not, that’s ok too. I have to remember that there is a purpose for the time the Lord takes to get me from 64% to 100%. And He has great plans to change my heart and make me more like Him in that time. I pray that if that time ends up being one week or one year I will be thankful for it because God ordained it.
I will never be able to control time. But my faith, hope, and trust is in the One who not only controls time but in the One who created time. God’s plans will always be greater than mine. Because God will always be infinite and all-knowing, and on this side of heaven, I will always be finite and can never fully understand. And in this moment, not having control gives me a sense of peace because I know God is up to something big.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21