I have been giving a good bit of thought to the subject of timing lately. I believe it all started when my nephew’s wife went into labor 8 weeks earlier than expected. The doctors were trying to do whatever they could to buy the baby more time inside his mother’s womb so he could continue to develop. Though they were only able to hold him off for one more day, he arrived at God’s appointed time. We were expecting him to win the prize for the first baby born in 2015, but God had a different plan. The prize turned into a 2014 tax deduction instead! All kidding aside, he is making good progress and is expected to go home in the coming week, an extra special reason for his family to give thanks this Thanksgiving.
According to the calendar the baby was early, but isn’t God’s timing always perfect? What about His timing when you’ve prayed the same prayer day after day, year after year, waiting for an answer that hasn’t yet come? His timing doesn’t seem so perfect then either, does it? So how do we know God’s timing is perfect? I want to simply say, “because He is God,” but I went searching for some reinforcement for that answer in the Bible. I landed in a not so familiar book—Habakkuk.
The prophet Habakkuk laid out his complaints to the Lord in the first chapter of the book. It was a time of fear, oppression, persecution, lawlessness and immorality in Judah and Habakkuk didn’t understand why God was allowing this to go on. God planned to use the mighty Babylonians to punish His people and that led to more questioning from Habakkuk. Why the increasingly powerful and evil Babylonians? God assured him that He would also punish the Babylonians after they had fulfilled His purpose. In his time of struggle and doubt, Habakkuk received this response from God found in the second chapter of the book:
“But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (Habakkuk 2:3 TLB)
In this verse we find hope to replace our doubts. God is sovereign. He can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants. As I often say, “He’s got this!” He has a purpose and a plan for your life and mine and He will carry it out at just the right time. Rest in that assurance today and keep the faith!
Celebrate God’s goodness this Thanksgiving and throughout the coming year—Happy Thanksgiving!
The day we’ve been working towards for the past 18+ years has arrived. Today my husband and I are moving our baby girl to college. Even though helping to shape her into an independent adult has been the goal all along, I will admit I feel a bit unprepared for the other side now that we are staring that goal right in the face.
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT)
Today marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, not only for Hillary, but for the whole family. We are entering a new season. It’s time, yet change can be scary. Lately, the range of emotions at my house has covered quite a bit of territory—anywhere from total dread to pure excitement, sometimes all at the same time!
We will encounter various seasons over the course of our lives, and our calling, or activity, will be a bit different in each one. For instance, when my daughter was born with significant health issues, I was called to leave my teaching job behind to stay at home with her. It was quite a transition. Are you currently moving from one season into another? Perhaps you have just come out on the other side of a life-altering transition. No matter your story I am confident that you can relate to this idea of changing seasons. It can be hard, sometimes even downright scary, to let go of the comfortable and enter into the unknown. I have good news—we have company!! We are not alone. Heed these words from God to the prophet Isaiah and take comfort:
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NLT)
These words are for you and me too. Go ahead and acknowledge that life may never be the same. Let’s not allow fear to paralyze us though. Rather, let’s walk boldly into the future knowing that God is with us each step of the way and will see us through to victory. As a good friend frequently tells me, “I read the end of the book—we win!”
Best wishes to the college freshmen and their families as they embark on that next chapter. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Go get’em Hillary!
My daughter, my baby, and my miracle, all wrapped up quite neatly into one person will be graduating from high school in a few short hours. Just the thought brings tears to my eyes, happy ones of course. According to the dictionary, to graduate means to complete an academic degree, course of training, or high school. The ceremony tonight is called commencement. To commence means to start or begin. Hmm…which is it, an ending or a beginning? I am going to give one of Hillary’s favorite answers—both! It is an ending AND a beginning all rolled up into one special evening. We celebrate her accomplishments tonight and look forward to what God has in store for the next chapter of her life. As her newly decorated graduation cap states, “There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow!” If you’ve ever been to Disney World you might remember that quote from the Carousel of Progress. There’s a chance you might even be singing it right now!
A time of transition…are you there? It applies to much more than graduation. Did you just pass your driver’s test? Get married? Divorced? Have your first child? Send a child off to school for the first time? Begin a new job? Retire? Are you moving? Grieving? All of these events and many more involve a time of transition, moving from one chapter to the next, a beginning and an end. Life will never be quite the same. Sometimes that thought makes us sad and other times it makes us happy. Change can be scary and exciting, sometimes all at once. Do you embrace change or fear it? If you’re like me, it just depends on the circumstances.
If you can relate on any level to where I find myself today as a parent of a graduate, I want to leave you with two somewhat familiar, but powerful, promises found in God’s Word that bring me comfort during these times of transition:
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NLT)
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
Dedicated to my graduate, Hillary Jayne Leipold, and all graduates from the Class of 2014
I will comfort you as a mother comforts her child. You will be comforted in Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 66:13 NIV)
With Mother’s Day upon us I am especially mindful of all those who have a gaping hole in their heart due to the loss of either a mother or a child or perhaps both. If that describes you, I pray that His unfailing love will bring you comfort.
I am blessed to be a mother to two emerging adults and have a mother still walking this earth. I guess I could be described as a mom in the middle. Maybe you fit that description too. There is so much to be said about mothers and their roles that I had a difficult time narrowing down my topic for this Mother’s Day post, but eventually my mind settled on the word comfort. Perhaps the reason is because I have seen that verb in action quite a bit recently on both the receiving end and the giving end.
Nothing made me appreciate my mother more than becoming a mother myself. What a demanding role, yet richly rewarding! As I wrote in a previous post, we WILL have trouble in this world. I have found over the years that when it strikes, my mom is always there to comfort me in the midst of it. Following surgery in 2011, I have experienced an extended period of health trouble and found myself in the ER one day last week after experiencing a new symptom. My mom showed up on my doorstep the next day to deliver some “comfort” in the form of food (and possibly for her own peace of mind).
My daughter has experienced her own set of health troubles over the past few months so I have had ample opportunity to comfort her in the midst of it. I can’t think of anything more heartwrenching than watching your child suffer. It’s an especially helpless feeling when fixing it is beyond your control. I can’t even fathom Mary watching Jesus being crucified. As mothers, we do whatever we can to help and often that includes providing comfort in whatever form that may take.
As I reflect on the word comfort, I am reminded of these verses written by the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (1 Corinthians 1:2-4 NIV)
Comfort is a gift from God meant to be shared. Whether someone calls you “Mom” or not, pass that gift on to someone in need.
(Dedicated to my mom for always being there when I need her most – Mother’s Day 2014)