Timing is everything. At least God's timing is. Everything, I mean.
Back around Christmas 1985, I wanted - more than ANYTHING else - a pair of red Arabian belly dancing pajamas. The pants flowed and moved and looked to a young girl, well, intoxicating. I had to have them. Needed them. Craved them. Could think of nothing else except those red Arabian belly dancing pajamas.
So in the weeks leading up to the B.I.G. day, I searched for them. And I found them. Hidden. In the basement in a big blanket chest. And I felt fabulous knowing that those red pajamas would be mine.
The only problem was, I had not found them under a tree on the B.I.G. day as my parents had intended. Instead I had cheated, and by doing so, soiled the Christmas experience with a nagging, annoying, mood spoiling emotion. Guilt. I had messed with the timing of the gift giving. I had taken from my parents the ability to surprise me and feel joy over making their daughter happy on the B.I.G. day. And so I did what any good, guilt ridden, nine year old girl would do. I faked it. I acted surprised. I acted as though I hadn't known that I was getting red Arabian belly dancing pajamas and that the joy on my face was R.E.A.L. But it wasn't. R.E.A.L. It was forced.
I did still wear those suckers all over the place, and I did still love them, but it wasn't quite the same as it could have been. I had shadowed, ever so slightly, the joy.
Looking back now and dealing with lots of transition and lots of decisions makes me wonder about God's timing. I want to feel settled. I want that dream house and that comfortable bank account and a church in an actual building that is designated as a church all seven days of the week. I actually almost had all that. For a little while.
Makes me want to force life's blessings like I did back when I was nine with those fabulous pajamas. And yet, I must remember the consequense of the timing. I must turn the almosts and the not quites and I want it nows all over to Him. I must trust in His role as Father, Provider, Comforter, Teacher, Redeemer, Soul Saver, God. I must trust and come to understand that Christmas Day will come. Maybe on December 25th. Maybe another time. But on that B.I.G. day, in His perfect timing, that joy - well, it will be R.E.A.L.