How Do I Trust God's Timing When Others Try to Rush Me?
- Hope Bolinger Author
- 2021 5 Nov
It would be so much easier to trust God's timing if everyone else didn't put me on their deadlines.
Most single Christians—especially younger single Christians—may feel this way. And it doesn't just apply to singles. Every married couple has told me that on their wedding day, the number one question they received was, "So, when are you going to have a baby?"
We live in a society that always expects us to make our next move, to take our next step. Even the modern church culture leaves very little room for Sabbaths and rest.
So as cuffing season approaches, and we feel the need to rush into relationships, jobs, or homes we can't afford, to appease our families, let's remind ourselves that God has much greater timing. If he has not allowed certain doors to open, we need to trust him.
Why Does the Opinion of Others Make it Hard to Trust God?
Even if we happen to not care about what our families or friends say behind our backs, most of us can see we've undeniably felt the pressure to make a quick decision before we received a prompting from the Lord...because someone close to us urged us to.
"When are you going to get a wife?"
"When are you going to leave that restaurant job and work a 'real' job?"
"When are you going to settle down?"
"When are you finally going to have kids?"
Questions like these can often make us feel that we've done something wrong. That if we didn't have our lives together by the age of 25 that we will have forsaken our callings and that God will simply move on to the next viable Christian.
Communication is never neutral. And no matter how many times we convince ourselves that we don't care what others around us think. Deep down, on some level, we really do.
So how do we ignore the noise and trust in the voice of the Almighty?
Biblical Examples of People Who 'Entered the Game' Late
We can point to several examples in the Bible of people who fulfilled a life benchmark long after what, even modern society, considers acceptable. Although I don't have the word count capacity to cover every one of these characters, I wanted to highlight a few.
Sarah: Why does society pressure us to marry young? Because we have a limited amount of time in which we can produce offspring. I've seen countless posts in dating groups where women apologize about the fact that at this point, they probably can't have kids. They fear that—because 90 percent of the posts from men say that not having kids is a dealbreaker—that they'll have no chance in someone taking a chance on them. Sad how not much has changed in 4000 years.
Sarah had the same issue. Although she had a loving husband, she was nearing 100 and didn't have kids. Nevertheless, God blessed her with a miracle of a son (Genesis 21).
Moses: Moses didn't tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go until he'd ripened to the age of 80. Considering Moses passed at the age of 120, more than two-thirds of his life had expired before he stopped running and fulfilled his calling.
Jesus: Jesus didn't begin his public ministry until the age of 30. What had he done all the years before? Carpentry. Imagine throwing several decades into one job, only to abandon it for a three-year ministry that ended in a horrific death.
We could go on in terms of examples, but God's timing always happens outside of human expectation.
So how do we trust God's timing, when we feel the pressure around us to make a rash decision?
How to Trust God's Timing (and Block out the Noise)
Although we could write several points under this heading, I wanted to focus on some main ones.
Create an Ebenezer
By this, I mean, create a prayer journal, a diary, some keepsake that reminds you about all the times God has come through for you before. When family pressures us to get engaged to the wrong person, or we feel the need to have a child with our spouse before we both feel ready, remember how God's timing has worked in the past in your life. Major events probably took place when you least expected them to. Look back on your Ebenezer and know that just because something hasn't come to pass doesn't mean it will. My cross country coach once said, "Don't worry about the other people in the race. Focus on getting your own personal best time." Apply that to your life. God has given us different racecourses, and we can't expect to hit the same benchmarks that someone with a flatter course got (when we're running up and down hills).
Most of the time, we get impatient with God when we get ungrateful. Yes, family and friends pressure us to make fast decisions, but at the end of the day, we need to worry about God's opinion (Psalm 118:8) than that of man. When we show contrite hearts full of thankfulness, it calms our spirit. We can then realize that God will move when he needs to, and we can sit back and get excited for when he does.
Focus on Today
Of course we get overwhelmed when we think about the future! Because we haven't arrived there yet. Scripture tells us to let tomorrow worry about itself (Matthew 6:34). In the meantime, focus on today and your walk with the Lord in the daily. I promise you have plenty to worry about in terms of what needs to get done on this day. Let God handle the rest. He is always working behind the scenes.
It's far easier said than done. We can often feel attacked by people who say that we missed our chance to fulfill our calling, to meet our spouse, to have kids. Know that God has a plan and he will not let you stray from it.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/coffeekai
Hope Bolinger is a multi-published novelist and a graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. More than 1,200 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her modern-day Daniel trilogy is out with IlluminateYA. She is also the co-author of the Dear Hero duology, which was published by INtense Publications. And her inspirational adult romance Picture Imperfect releases in November of 2021. Find out more about her at her website.