“When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” – Galatians 4:4-5
What a remarkable thought: there was a fullness of time that God had ordained into which He would inaugurate the visible unfolding of His eternal plan of redemption. There is mystery that shrouds this statement from Galatians 4. Eternal counsel between Father, Son & Spirit resulted in the dispatch of the Son from Heaven to enter into planet earth’s time and space dimensions, so that He might be born among humans as the Son of Man. The prophet Daniel had pointed toward the timing of Messiah’s birth. Micah, another ancient prophet, had indicated the place of Messiah’s birth would be in Bethlehem. Isaiah had declared the miraculous means by which the Messiah would enter earth – of all things, through the womb of a virgin! God had sent many announcements that the Savior would come, but Jesus could not actually arrive until the predetermined moment of fullness. This was the beginning of the time about which God Himself had spoken to the serpent in Eden, when He promised that One born of woman would crush the serpent’s head. Jesus Christ the Lord appeared on earth…right on time.
“There is a God in heaven who reveals secrets…” – Daniel 2:28
The moment had arrived, and God’s plan would be fulfilled exactly as it had been determined in Heaven. This is the way God always operates. He is never late and He never acts prematurely. God knows nothing of experiencing anxiety. He does not panic. He will not rush. Time does not constrain the Almighty, as He is the One who rules over time from outside of time. We wonder why He does not act as a man acts. We wonder why He is never inclined to hurry. Painfully at times, God strolls when we request Him to sprint. Yet we know that He is a good, good Father and always acts in wisdom that is literally beyond our human reason and comprehension. So, when He seems slow, the issue is not with Him, it is with our limited understanding of all that He is doing. Here is a good place to pull back the curtain and acknowledge that we are very impatient when it comes to the timing of God. If I am being honest, I will risk it and say that sometimes I wish He would speed things up a little. This impatience in my soul has decreased a little as I have gotten older but, I still regularly wish He would adjust His pace to mine.
Then I read again that His plans are always carried out according to the fullness of time. He measures the times and He determines when they are full. It is then that God moves in sovereign, unrelenting intentionality and accomplishes what He desires. Whether we are speaking of the Incarnation of the Son of God or something as simple as a provision for a temporary, material need for one of His children, we must acknowledge that He knows what He is doing. We have been taught by Him to wait. We have been told to trust. We have been invited to abide in Him. In all things, we know that we must yield, and this disciplined work is often harder than anything else He may ask of us.
We too wait until the fullness of times.
In all things great and small, God’s timing is perfect and we will spend a lifetime learning to rest underneath the shade of this reality.
And when we do, we learn again that He does not disappoint.