“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, come under law, that he might redeem those under law, that we might receive Sonship.” Galatians 4:4-5
The “fullness of time” is the exact, perfect and sovereign timing of God. When you think about Christmas and the birth of Jesus, there is no more amazing example of God’s perfect timing. History, prophecy, geography, the events and people of the moment, even the star that appeared in the sky to announce His birth—all of these aligned uniquely and for God’s planned and designed purpose. Mary and Joseph’s trip to Bethlehem, by order of Caesar Augustus, who came to power at that moment because of the assassination of his grand-nephew. The order itself carried by ship on the unpredictable Mediterranean to arrive at the right moment. The assassination leading to the order leading to a voyage to carry it to the ears of Mary and Joseph, who then begin their unlikely journey to the City of David, fulfilling prophecy after prophecy in full measure… Like a fine Swiss watch each tiny tooth of time’s gears spinning precisely at the direction of God Himself. We can learn so much from Jesus’ birth about God’s amazing timing.
God is never surprised. Nothing catches Him off-guard. Not one area of your own life, not one decision, circumstance or crisis is unexpected. Wherever you are in life, whatever is happening, God knows, and cares. God has a path for you through it, whatever it might be, and though it may be difficult or unforeseen to you, God saw it coming and is ready to hold you firm in the wind and rain. It’s comforting to know that nothing surprises God.
God has a plan. No action in our present causes a reaction from God. God always acts, never reacts, because God’s plans are always in motion. God’s plans do not change because God does not change. His plans are perfect. The Bible says God knows every hair on our heads before we are born, and from “before the foundation of the world” He set in motion His plan for our salvation, and His ideal for our lives in Christ. Though we may not see the path ahead, we can be confident that the God we serve has marked out every footfall for us. All we need is faith enough to take a step at a time.
God is always on time. The old saying goes, “God is never late”, but the reality is that God is neither early nor late. God is always precisely on time. In our lives we can feel like we’re waiting on God. We feel held-back or out of control as He seemingly tests our patience. But just like birth of Jesus, God orchestrates the most complicated of scenarios with the ease of a painter’s brush stroke. When we are tempted to ask God, “Why not now,” instead prayerfully thank God for His timing, and trust that when your time does come, it will also be God’s perfect time.
Today ...a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11
A humble birth in a stable, because the inns were full. A timely notice to flee to Egypt. A life as a carpenter for three decades before it was time to begin an earthly ministry. And most important of all, a terrible hours-long death, and three days in the grave, so that in God’s perfect timing, He could rise from the dead, paying the price for our sins, and conquering the grave. Moment by moment through His life on earth, God was building to that morning when the tomb was empty, and the world would never be the same. It was not a series of mistakes, or circumstances or surprises that led the baby from the manger to the cross. It was for us all, and all in God’s perfect time.