RSS Feed

Tag Archives: God’s timing

When Everything Goes According to Plan

Every so often, I question God’s timing. When my life seems to stand still, moving in slow motion, I get impatient. While this may not happen every month, several times a year I get frustrated by a lack of progress. The Bible suggests human minds struggle to comprehend, fathom or understand God’s grand design. Thus, for now I feel like Job, pondering the purpose of trials in life like the Coronavirus pandemic spreading throughout the world.

Then Joseph could not restrain himself [any longer] before all those who stood by him, and he called out, Cause every man to go out from me! So no one stood there with Joseph while he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept and sobbed aloud, and the Egyptians [who had just left him] heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard about it. And Joseph said to his brothers, I am Joseph! Is my father still alive? And his brothers could not reply, for they were distressingly disturbed and dismayed at [the startling realization that they were in] his presence, Genesis 45:1-3.

Joseph of the Old Testament likely experienced similar mood swings. After sharing vivid dreams with his family, he quickly became despised by his brothers. Sold into slavery as a teenager, Joseph worked his way up to a caretaker for Potiphar’s estate. Unfortunately, Potiphar’s flirtatious wife falsely accused Joseph of rape leading straight to prison. Unlike me, Joseph kept a position attitude until the Lord finally completed his ultimate goal.

But now, do not be distressed and disheartened or vexed and angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me ahead of you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years more in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. God sent me before you to preserve for you a posterity and to continue a remnant on the earth, to save your lives by a great escape and save for you many survivors, Genesis 45:5-7.

What human beings see as defeat, failure and losses, God uses these moments to prune the dead branches in your life, John 15:1-5. The hard part is remaining in the vine, sticking with Jesus as darkness surrounds you. To those that stay near the Lord, abundant fruits flow in the form of blessings in life. Yet, bitterness, pride and selfish ambition cause many to wander away, trying it on your own. If I could just learn to be more Joseph in Genesis, maybe I’ll begin to see God’s hand as everything goes according to His plan.

by Jay Mankus

Stranded

Before the days of cell phones, I found myself stranded on Interstate 74 between Indianapolis and Cincinnati.  As my car died, I was helpless as vehicles flew by without a glance.  Waiting for a good Samaritan to come to the rescue, minutes turned to hours.  Like a fish out of water, I reached a point where I didn’t know what to do.

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed, Proverbs 19:17.

You would think a youth pastor might naturally turn to prayer for assistance, but the shock of the moment distracted my focus.  Desperation pointed me in the right direction, upward toward the sky.  Shortly after praying, a jeep arrived to take me to the nearest tow truck.  Although the fix wasn’t easy, a credit card enabled me to make it home several hours behind schedule.

Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you, Matthew 5:42.

Today, God’s timing doesn’t always make sense, especially when you endure hardship.  Numerous people feel spiritually stranded, stuck in a rut and unable to find rest for a weary soul.  During this waiting game, many around you may fake it for a while, putting on a good front.  However, unspoken words hope for eternal security, 1 John 5:13.  In this search for the meaning to life, may the Holy Spirit pick you up from the curb, helping you put all the pieces together from your past, present and the future.

by Jay Mankus

 

Do Whatever He Tells You

If you were raised in a military family, questioning a person of authority isn’t an option.  Colonel Jessup played by Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men illustrates this truth during direct examination by Tom Cruise in a military court, “if marines don’t follow orders in Cuba, people die!”  Once any individual earns the respect of their fellow civilians, peers or platoon, most will do whatever he or she tells you to do.

In the case of Mary, mother of Jesus, she knew her son was special by age 12, Luke 2:51-52.  Eighteen years later, her opinion had not changed, believing her son had divine powers, John 2:3.  Thus, when a friend was about to face public humiliation, running out of wine at a wedding ceremony, Mary relies on Jesus to come to the rescue.  However, there was a problem, Jesus had only called 6 of his 12 disciples, John 1:35-51, with 6 more remaining to complete his ministry team.  Initially, he refuses to act, explaining God’s timing to commence his 3 year ministry had not yet arrived, John 2:4.  Nonetheless, Jesus keeps the vow he made following his bar-mitz-vah to honor his father and mother, Exodus 20:12.

As soon as this conflict was settled, Mary moves into action, ordering the servants at the reception to “do whatever Jesus tells you,” John 2:5.  Led by the Holy Spirit, Matthew 4:1 and angels, Matthew 4:11, Jesus examines the situation, develops a plan and gives orders to the servants, John 2:6-8.  With their jobs and reputations on the line, these workers carefully follow Jesus’ instructions.  Likely scratching their heads, hoping for the best, these servants wait in fearful anticipation of the master’s first impression, John 2:9.  Not sure if they will be embarrassed, curiosity holds their attention until each receives good news, John 2:10.  If this first miracle of Jesus teaches us anything, do whatever He tell you and good things are bound to follow.

If you’ve experienced or seen any modern day miracles, feel free to share in the comment section below.

by Jay Mankus

Delaying God’s Promises

As I turned on the television this morning, I felt like God was talking directly to me.  Dr. Tony Evans was reminding his congregation that neutrality does not exist in the spiritual realm.  You’re either drawing closer to God, gathering up treasures for heaven or you’re falling away, disappointed by the lack of promises you’ve received if any.  Instead of blaming God for unfulfilled promises, disobedience, rebellion or unbelief essentially delays one from experiencing these blessings on earth.

According to Matthew 12:30, Jesus can’t be any clearer about his expectations for his followers.  “If you’re not with me, gathering people toward the kingdom of God, you’re against me!”  Though it sounds good today, you can’t pick and choose which commandments you follow and which you ignore and or neglect.  During my month long ordeal with my lung, liver and ribs, I began to slip away from God, frustrated by the hand I have been dealt the last few years.  However, my response has delayed God’s timing, waiting for obedience from me before I was accompanied by blessings, Deuteronomy 28:2.

I guess the easy thing to do is blame God for your lack of progress, success or wealth in life.  Nonetheless, David says it best in Psalm 37:3; “trusting in the Lord and striving for holiness comes first.”  Until this occurs, peace and safe pastures are on hold.  Therefore, don’t delay God’s promises any further by idleness.  Rather, delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart, Psalm 37:4.

by Jay Mankus

The Fraility of the Human Heart

Since Thursday afternoon at 5pm, my life has been a whirlwind of emotions.  After a successful second interview at Amazon on Wednesday, I sensed a promotion in the near future, trying to stayed reserved until I hear the news.   A little more than 24 hours later, my focus switched toward a battle to live, unable to stand or breath on my own.   One second I felt like I was having a heart attack, the next a CAT Scan revealed a pocket of blood around my lungs and liver.

For the past 3 days, I have had a tube sucking the blood out of these 2 areas trying to prevent infection.  Until this improves, I am in limbo, getting stronger, but still waiting on my internal bleeding to stop.  Unfortunately, my body is not healing as quick as it use to in the days of my youth.  Thus, life has been put on hold temporarily, in God’s hand and in His time as I wrestle with the Fraility of the human heart.

God has taught me a subtle lesson these past few days, He’s in control no matter what I try to do.   Though I usually try to speculate about the future, I am helpless, trusting in God’s grace to get me through this ordeal.  Sooner or later, my odds of improvement increase, yet the Lord knows the next steps that I will take.  As for now, time is the enemy, placing me behind where I want to be as the reality of life’s fraility has come crashing through the front door of my heart.

by Jay Mankus

Squashing Any Attempts of Mutiny

When a teenager earns the trust of their parent or teacher, this individual often receives a little slack.  Depending upon their response to freedom, this teen will either acquire more or lose these privileges based upon their behavior.  The essence of trust is an assurance that when left alone, a person will continue to walk in credible and reliable ways, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2.  If trust is broken or respect lost due to unforeseen acts bent on evil, authority figures can step in to squash any attempts at mutiny.

 

Near of end of Israel’s 400 years of slavery in Egypt, Pharaoh became paranoid once his magicians could no longer duplicate the plagues made by the power within Moses’ staff, Exodus 8:18-19.  In fact, the sight of Moses in Pharaoh’s presence became like bad news, probably thinking to himself, “okay, what’s the next plague God is going to send my way?”  While Pharaoh kept promising Moses that he would allow Israel to worship the Lord in the desert, in the back of his mind he doubted their motives, Exodus 10:8-11.  Ticked off by a 3 day plague of darkness, Pharaoh lost his cool, banishing Moses from his presence, Exodus 10:27-29.  As a last ditch effort to squash the mutiny he believed Israel was planning, Pharaoh threatened to kill Moses if he ever entered the king’s presence again.

Playing cards vector

One thing I have learned in life, if God is up to something, no human hand, leader or nation can hold back His power.  Unfortunately, God’s timing is different from man’s timing, Ecclesiastes 3:11, causing mankind to scratch their heads, confused by righteous causes that are squashed and evil which prospers.  However, in these moments of frustration, one must remember the wisdom of Job 42:1-6.  Therefore, as you make the best of the hand God has dealt you, don’t fold until you have planned the game of life with every ounce of your heart, Colossians 3:17.

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: