God's clock keeps perfect time

By Rev. Jim Davis

When he (Jesus) had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.Then after that saith he tohisdisciples,Let us go into Judaea again. (John 11:6, 7)

Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary satstillin the house.Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. (John 11:20, 21)

The previous verses are from St. John 11. This chapter relates to us the sickness and death of Jesus' friend Lazarus.

When Jesus received word Lazarus was sick, he remained two days in the place he was ministering. After two days he began moving toward Lazarus.

Lazarus had two sisters, Martha and Mary. When they met Jesus, they both said, "Master, if thou hadst been here, my brother would not have died."

Jesus then went to the cemetery and brought Lazarus to life again. Lazarus is the only person Jesus brought back from the dead after the person was buried.

There are so many times in our lives when we are tempted to think or say something similar to what Martha and Mary said. Jesus if you were really here and caring this would not have occurred.

But I am reminded of a statement I first heard more than 50 years ago: "God's clock keeps perfect time."

It was January of 1965. I had enrolled at God's Bible School and College in Cincinnati, Ohio (GBS) to prepare for a lifetime of Christian ministry. E.G. Marsh was serving as the president of the school at that time.

President Marsh had served the school for decades. As a young man he had attended the annual camp meeting in 1910, and then enrolled the following fall as a student.

Upon graduation in 1912, he became a teacher in what was then referred to as "the Christian Worker's Course." Except for one year in which he took a leave of absence he remained in a GBS classroom until 1967.

He became the school's fourth president in 1961 and served four years, retiring in 1965 from the presidency but continued to teach until 1967.

Though he wrote a number of books he is best remembered for his praying. I was privileged to sit in his class entitled, "The Ministry of Prayer."

Anyone who has sat in his classroom or been acquainted with him at all will remember one statement he often made: "God's clock keeps perfect time."

We so often are impatient when praying. We expect God should answer immediately. When our prayers are not answered the problem is we see only our part of the picture, but God sees the big picture and has to work it out in a way that by the end of the situation there is justice for all.

If God were to say yes, the situation might bring upon us a harm we cannot foresee. Problem is, if we were to wear God down with our prayers which make him ultimately grant what we prayed for and then the situation turned rancid or fatal, we would then blame God you knew this was going to happen, then why did thou not stop it? You do not know what God is doing in the background.

Peter was inspired to write that God is not slack concerning his promises but that with him one day is as 1,000 years and 1,000 years as one day. (II Peter 3:8, 9)

Isaiah wrote: For my thoughtsarenot your thoughts, neitherareyour ways my ways, saith the Lord.Forasthe heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8, 9)

Habakkuk is one of the 12 Old Testament books referred to as The Minor Prophets. He was a contemporary of Jeremiah and prophesied just prior to Babylon conquering Judah.

He had difficulty understanding God's timing. He was crying to God for answers to why God was allowing a barbaric and brutal nation to attack Judah.

He began the book crying to God about how long he had been crying and God was not answering. As we continue to read at the beginning of chapter two he declared he would continue to believe and wait for God's answer.

In Habakkuk 2:3, God does answer and I quote: "For the visionisyet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."

Paul is inspired to write these words in Galatians 6:9: "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."

The Psalmist in Psalm 40:1 wrote: "I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry."

A very important word in the verse just quoted is the word patiently. May we learn the art of waiting patiently for God to answer our prayers.n

Rev. Jim Davis is pastor of the Pilgrim Holiness Church of Strattanville.