The Heartbeat
"But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under laws…" Galatians 4:4-5a

The old line is business is that "timing is everything." The veracity of tarot card readers, psychics, palm readers and the like is a non-issue due to the simple observation that they are inevitably to be found living in run-down houses. How can that be if they know the future? For a single day at the races could easily turn a $2 bet into untold treasure for one who can accurately foresee but minutes ahead in time. So it is obvious that these frauds cannot see even mere minutes ahead in time yet people will pay them to tell them of their futures. Go figure.

When to buy? When to sell? Those are THE questions for stock futures investors. They know HOW to buy (low) and sell (high). But the question is not how. The question is when. Timing is everything.

About 10 years ago I was at an auction of early single-cylinder engines ("one lungers"). Among those sold was a 1901 Columbia 8 horse power engine (if I recall correctly) on wheels. It sold, as I recall, for $87,000. While standing with an Amishman in the shade of a threshing machine, the Amishman told me about that particular engine. It had been owned by an Amish friend of his. "He bought that it for $35. When he brought it home his wife said, 'Why did you buy another one of those?' But I'd say he made a pretty good return on his investment, wouldn't you?" We all would agree. Even the man's wife would probably now agree. But it all comes back to timing. I ran across a man I hadn't seen in some years the other day and when I asked him about his house (a large circa 1890 Victorian house south of Lititz) he said, "We sold it. With what was happening to the housing market, we couldn't see how we could help but sell it. We made a ton of money on it." It all has to do with timing.

So, in the fullness of time God sent his Son. Could Jesus have come into this world 100 years earlier, or a 100 years later? I guess so, but the timing would not have been as good. That is what Paul is suggesting. Bible historians have written about this: how Christ's showing up when he did was at a time when the Greek culture that prepared the world for universal language and trade was waning even as Roman rule – which brought with it universal order and relative tranquility – was on the rise. Israel was more than ready to be finished with its sacrificial system, while Rome's desire to be free of the self-righteous Judaism found among the Hebrews made the defeat of Israel and the diaspora of the Jews almost inevitable. In the end it would be the combination of all these factors that would actually help in the spread of the gospel.

So, "in the fullness of time" or "when the time had fully come" or "when the time was right" God sent his Son into the world. And now here we are, 2,000 years later, still of the conviction that God's timing – not just for the sending of Jesus into the world but for everything – is the right timing. We don't always like His timing. Some jobs we would like to have had come along sooner than they did. Our family always felt like God's taking of our Mom (at age 56) was way too soon. But we learn to accept these things. If Jesus came "when the time was right" then we can trust that that job, or my Mom's death, also came at the right time.

Rest in God's timing, my friend. Rest in it and enjoy it.

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22 May 2022 - 09:00AM
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22 May 2022 - 10:30AM
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25 May 2022 - 07:00PM
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29 May 2022 - 09:00AM
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29 May 2022 - 10:30AM