A close friend and I were catching up on our lives the other day as we walked home from work. She was filling me in on her wedding preparations and the hectic schedule it demanded of her. As we approached her usual bus stop she jokingly lamented how she had been forced to switch bus stages in search of the quiet matatu because her body couldn’t stand the outrageously loud buses after a long hard day. As we laughed about it, I reminded her that we were growing old and valued a little peace and quietness more than our younger days.
She then turned to me with such a serious look and asked, “We are in our late twenties (yes, I revealed our age, lol) are you happy with the stage you’re in?” I must admit that question caught me off guard. I hadn’t thought about it and I didn’t have an immediate answer so I reverted the question back to her. She opened up and confessed that there were days she was frustrated at the pace she was moving. She had different expectations of what she would have achieved as she approached her thirties and most of which she hadn’t.
Her response caught me by surprise because in my opinion, she was doing quite well for herself. She had just launched her music career the previous year and it was picking up quite well. She was engaged to the love of her life and was planning a wedding in two months time. What could she possibly be complaining about? So I dug deep and prodded where those feelings were coming from. Turns out every time she compared herself to what her peers in the same industry were doing she fell short and it weighed her down heavily.
I turned to her and asked the one question that came to mind, “So where does God’s timing come in?” And at once she went silent and didn’t have an answer to that so she did what we do best, threw back the question at me (lol, such a payback). I opened up and told her what the Spirit put in my heart then.
That God’s timing is indeed always the best; He is never early or late and He always comes through at the right timing, the appointed time and in His own timing, He makes everything beautiful. (Ecclesiastes 3: 11). Things may not work out for us when we wanted and how we wanted but nothing we go through in this life is in vain. Every season, every stage, every challenge, every milestone…all these were meant for a purpose which we may not always know at the moment. But afterwards, God always reveals His plans and looking back; we can always join the dots and understand why it had to be the way it was.
There is a time for everything in life and while we have no control over the seasons we go through, it is our responsibility to enjoy every stage we go through. Failure to do so will result in us rushing through life to get to the next season that we forget to look around and enjoy the blessings we already have in our possessions. We will go through life looking at other peoples’ lives, envying what they have without considering that they too have a story to tell. That they didn’t wake up one day and magically find themselves where they were, it was a journey.
Our life is a journey. There are those seasons where we will mark time at one place for one reason or the other. Sometimes it will be because God wants to teach us perseverance which must finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. (James 1:2-5). Sometimes it will be our own doing that will result in our stagnation. Like the children of Israel who were supposed to take an eleven day journey to the Promised Land but because of their complaints and constantly falling short of God’s laws, they ended up taking 40 years. (Deuteronomy 1:1-8).
Some areas in life we are stuck for so long because we fail to learn the lesson to catapult us ahead. But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. We have a loving kind God whose mercies are new every morning. If we humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn from our ways He promises that He’ll always hear us from heaven, will forgive our sins and heal us. (2 Chronicles 7: 14).
God redeems, God restores and promises that He will repay us for the years that the locust have eaten. (Joel 2: 24-26). So while we may have put ourselves in the desert for way too long, He’ll deliver us to our promised land eventually. It will definitely take time and it won’t be all easy but if we are going in the right direction, obedient to God’s will, we will move forward and not stay in the same mess for the rest of our lives.
Afterwards I looked at her and she had the biggest smile on her face and I could tell she was immensely relieved from all the worries she had on her mind. She laughed and said that though we didn’t attend our usual church evening fellowship, we had been ministered to right there on the streets. And as we parted, I couldn’t help but reflect on her words. Maybe for that evening, that was the fellowship God had planned for us, and we were meant to be right where we were, still in His timing.