Sometimes I joke that I'm going to write a book titled On Time. Those who know me smile because they know I am often late. I rationalize that my lateness is due to optimism, not to lack of trying. I optimistically cling to the faulty belief that “this time” I will be able to get more done in less time than ever before. But I can't, and I don't, so I end up having to apologize yet again for my failure to show up on time.
In contrast, God is always on time. We may think He's late, but He's not. Throughout Scripture we read about people becoming impatient with God’s timing. The Israelites waited and waited for the promised Messiah. Some gave up hope. But Simeon and Anna did not. They were in the temple daily praying and waiting (Luke 2:25–26, 37). And their faith was rewarded. They got to see the infant Jesus when Mary and Joseph brought Him to be dedicated (vv. 27–32, 38).
When we become discouraged because God doesn't respond according to our timetable, Christmas reminds us that “when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son . . . that we might receive adoption to sonship” (Gal. 4:4–5). God’s timing is always perfect, and it is worth the wait.
Heavenly Father, I confess that I become impatient and discouraged, wanting answers to prayer in my own time and on my schedule. Help me to wait patiently for Your timing in all things.
God’s timing is always right—wait patiently for Him.
The story of Simeon, Anna, and the baby Jesus at the temple is found only in Luke’s gospel. Some scholars believe that much of this unique material could have come from Luke’s personal interaction with Mary the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:1–2).