There is a story about an elderly British couple who had never flown before but had decided to visit their children in New York and see their grandchildren for the first time. They booked tickets for a charter flight and eventually boarded a three engine Lockheed TriStar to make the trip across the Atlantic. They were about halfway over the ocean when the pilot’s voice came over the intercom: “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. I feel I ought to let you know that one of our three engines has failed. There is, of course, no need for alarm. This plane is entirely airworthy flying on two engines, but I regret to say we will be one hour late in arriving at New York.”
About thirty minutes later, with a “desperate calm” in his voice, the pilot was heard over the intercom again: “This is your captain speaking. I regret that we have lost the second of our engines. I would like to assure you, however, that we have every expectation of making a normal, safe landing at JFK airport. However, I am sorry to tell you that we will be about three hours late in arriving.”
Hearing this, Grandma turned to Grandpa with a hint of irritation in her voice and said, “My goodness! If that third engine goes, we will be up here all night!”
Friends, this little story reminds me of how highly many of us value our time. Though most of us would gladly sacrifice a few hours for the safe landing of our airplane, we understand the irritation which occurs when our schedule is disrupted by some type of delay. We want what we want, when we want it. Because of this, we often become frustrated when we realize that God’s timetable is different than our own. If we are a believer in Jesus Christ, we can be confident that God is always at work in our lives, always protecting us, and always providing for our needs. We must realize, however, that He does these things according to His schedule, not ours.
God, the Creator of time, is not bound by any of its limitations. The Bible reminds us that to the Lord “a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day (2 Peter 3:8).” Yet it also tells us that God does everything at just the “right time.” It was “when the time had fully come” that God the Father sent Jesus to this world (Galatians 4:4).
Friends, if we turn to the Lord for help, He will provide the help we need, exactly when we need it. He will, however, define what exactly it is that we need. He will also follow His schedule, not ours. Sometimes the Lord’s answer to our prayers will be “wait, it’s not time yet.” When that occurs, we need to be patient. Rather than get frustrated, we can be confident that even though it may take more time than we wanted, God will always bring us in for a safe landing.
Yours, knowing that my time is in God’s hands,
Rev. Dan Erickson
Senior Pastor, Chisholm Baptist Church