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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Ehmke, MA, LPC

God's Perfect Timing

“True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going. I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 (The Message)

Memories are mysterious. While there are certain things I cannot remember to save my life, there are others I can remember like they’ve just happened. Memorial Day holds one of those memories for me because this is the day I went into labor with my first child.

It’s crazy that I still remember the day with such clarity even though it’s been 24 years now, but still, the memory is as fresh as the day it happened.

Don’t worry; I have no intention of sharing any gory details about giving birth. What I want to share is what God has revealed to me through that day about his perfect timing.

You see, whether we believe it or not, God’s timing IS perfect. But, like the verse above also says, “he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what he’s up to…”

What do you think? Does it bring you comfort or irritation to be left in the dark by God? I’m pretty sure I already know your answer because mine is probably the same. It makes me irritable sometimes. I mean come on, is it such a bad thing to want to know what’s going to happen in life?

The simple answer is “no,” there is nothing wrong with wanting to be prepared for what life may bring. The problem is, we as human beings tend to micromanage everything and in doing so miss out on a lot of beautiful things because we are so rigid about our plans.

In his love, God may “leave us in the dark” at times, not to harm us, but to teach us how to enjoy simple moments.

Memorial Day, 24 years ago, was a picture of this kind of love in action.

The day was absolutely perfect. We spent the entire afternoon out in the sun at my in-law's house, barbequing, fishing, and enjoying the breeze coming off the lake while surrounded by people we love. We couldn’t have asked for a better day.

At the same time we were enjoying our day, my mom and stepfather were out doing the exact same thing with my side of the family. It was a long, beautiful, full day for everyone, and by days end we were all exhausted and ready for sleep.

You see everyone knows (or at least I’d been told) that no one has their first baby on time. So even though May 30th was my due date, and Memorial Day that year fell on May 29th, we were not worried.

Driving home that night in my husbands little maroon Chevy S-10 pick-up, we seemed to hit every single bump and pothole to be found. In truth, I know a few of them he hit on purpose just to watch my humongous belling jiggle. He was definitely doing his part to make the ride home adventurous.

Walking through the front door, well after 10:00 pm, I did what any self-respecting 40-week along pregnant woman would do. I went straight to the refrigerator to grab something chocolaty. Bending over to reach in, it happened… my water broke. Yikes!

As you can image, all the normal excitement, panic, and general chaos now began to ensue as we prepared to get to the hospital. The last thing to be done before we headed out the door though was to call our parents. The answer from everyone was the same…”Are you serious? Now?”

Despite the late hour, everyone immediately came to the hospital to be present for the birth of their first grandchild. It took about 12 hours, but everyone was present and happy to be there.

I didn’t personally witness it but at one point about 6 hours in, my husband went to the waiting room to give an update on my progress only to find all the grandparents sleeping, still wreaking of the days earlier events - fish, BBQ, and sun. What a picture, but also what a gift!

Had we known I was going to go into labor that evening; my guess is we would have done our day very differently. Yet in his grace, God kept us in the dark as to what was coming, and we were able to “go ahead and have a good time and get the most we could out of the day.”  The day truly was an enjoyable gift.

For Your Reflection…

How are you at enjoying the simple things in life? Do you let your plans get in the way of the simple gifts (eating, drinking, and working) that God wants you to enjoy?

How about going out to enjoy a good meal with friends this week and see how God shows up in this gift.


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