“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
It’s been a while since I started talking on the subject, “It’s never too late for God”, taking examples of three different instances in the gospel according to St. Luke. When Jesus raised the dead son of a widow at Nain (Chapter 7); when the repentant thief received salvation (Chapter 23) and when Simeon and Anna got to witness the redemption of Israel and the whole world when they saw Jesus at the temple (Chapter 2). As we go a little deeper to meditate on the essence we can find that, both Simeon and Anna were waiting for something beautiful for a long time and it was not an easy wait. The Bible didn’t say exactly when God had promised that Simeon won’t taste death unless he sees the redemption of Israel or the promise of the father in Christ the messiah. It might be when he was young he had received this promise, or later in his life. But one thing is for sure that he was waiting for this promise to get fulfilled for a long time. Actually things that were happening around them wouldn’t have given them much hope for the promise to be fulfilled. It was the time when the Roman empire had tightened its noose around the whole Palestine region with its strong military regime. Firstly, they could only see oppression of the Jewish community and their freedom of speech and other rights. Secondly, there were a lot of divisions in the Jewish community itself with sects such as Sadducees and Pharisees. Thirdly, after the conquest of Alexander and the subsequent changes in the political history of Jerusalem, there were mixed groups like Greek Hellenists, Romans and various others who had major occupancies among the Jews in their own city of God. Seeing all these things and given his old age, maybe it was time to give up hope for Simeon and Anna. But they waited for the promise to get fulfilled in their lives and in God’s appointed time, they did see what they were promised! Many times in our lives also, God would have promised certain things to us, but things that happen around us would give no hope whatsoever for that promise to be fulfilled. We often hear this common dialogue “God is delaying”, but as I was pondering I realised that, “God never delays things, it’s just that we are in a hurry”, and “God never denies, it’s just that it was never in His plan for us”. God is beyond time, it’s just that we humans, bound by time, try to force God to make things happen and become (Philippians 4:6) anxious or just stop believing that He will fulfil His promises, when we see difficulties, hopeless situations and when our time is ticking away. We always see things from our perspective which is time bound, rather than seeing things from God’s perspective which is beyond time. We humans try to measure everything in order to give meaning to it, but God measures us through it. God waits and watches to know, how long can we wait faithfully till the things He promised comes to maturity? As the verse above says, God does make everything in His perfect time; He will never ever delay for the ones who faithfully wait on Him. The greatest task for us is to know His time. It comes only when we wait in His presence. When we wait in His presence, He also gives us the strength to wait for His promise. That is what Simeon and Anna did (Luke 2:37). They waited in the temple to witness God’s promise to them. They were not bound by time, age or any other human measurements but rose above all these to wait for God’s time which is beyond our measurements. In this month, let us analyse ourselves, whether we are functioning inside our own finite measurements or God’s infinite assurance. It’s time for us to stop thinking about our time and wait upon God’s time for His promises to be fulfilled in our lives.