God's Timing

May 30, 2021
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Listen while you read: "Leaning On The Everlasting Arms"1 (Lyrics)

Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (NASB)

This has always been one of my favourite Bible verses. However, Paul says nothing about when all things will work together for good.

I recently received an e-mail that emphasized this fact for me. It read, "It's wonderful how God weaves together threads — sometimes over a period of many years — that form a cord to draw us to Him."

To illustrate how God's timing is far beyond our comprehension, I will go back to 1893. In a devotional published on February 23, 2018, I told the story of my grandmother being left a 26-year-old widow with four young children when her doctor husband died suddenly.

Her four-year-old daughter, Maude, grew up to love God, and in 1917, she and her husband assisted in the commencement of The Salvation Army work in China. They had a baby girl with them, my cousin, Dorothy — nicknamed "Dody".

They travelled to Peking (now Beijing) and opened a home for young children. The first resident was a young boy, Hung-Shun Ying.

After many years of growth, Christian organizations were forced underground by the rise of the Communist Party. But God isn't bound by our time or man's restrictions.

When my son visited Beijing in 1980, he located Major Ying, who was the young homeless boy housed in 1917, and was then a leader in The Salvation Army in China and operating underground. When Bruce explained that his dad's cousin was the little baby nicknamed "Dody", Major Ying was thrilled and insisted on giving Chinese tea for transfer to "Dody".

Forward another decade for the final chapter in this story of God's timing.

Periodically, The Salvation Army holds an international Congress. In 1990, one was held where thousands from around the world gathered in London, England. I was in London on a business trip and arranged for my retired cousin to come from her south-shore home and stay with us at a hotel close to the stadium.

At this Congress, Major Ying was to be given the "Order of the Founder" award, recognizing distinguished service, and to receive it, he was flown from Beijing. My cousin and I met privately with him, and at first, he didn't recognize us. But when Dorothy said that she was "Dody", he became very excited with recognition of the baby girl of 1917. He then told her that ten years before, her relative had visited him in Beijing. She explained that I was his father, and his excitement continued.

After receiving his award that afternoon, in front of thousands, he quietly sang the words of Edward Joy (1871-1949):

    All my days and all my hours,
    All my will and all my powers,
    All the passion of my soul,
    Not a fragment but the whole
    Shall be Thine, dear Lord.

1893 to 1990 is a long time to us, but not to God. He is certainly not bound by time as we are.

For you and me, the challenge is to love God. He, in turn, works all things for good.

Prayer: Dear Father, help us to remember that our challenge is to love You with all our powers and to trust You to work things out for good, regardless of the time. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Vincent Walter <vwalter@bell.net>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Vincent!

    Wonderful story, Vince.

    God’s love is amazing and timeless!

    What a beautiful story of God’s planning in our lives.

    What a beautiful tapestry God has woven of the lives of your family as they loved God with their whole hearts!

    What an interesting and amazing story, Vincent. A great example of how God’s timeline is different than ours. God bless!

    Good morning Vince
    Another interesting and inspiring devotional.
    Thank you and God bless.

    Dear Vincent,
    What an account of God’s weaving in His time. A wonderful encouragement for each of us.

    Hi Vincent,
    Another one of your incomparable devotionals has held me spellbound.
    Thank you.

    Greetings Vince,
    Interesting devotional you have written. Yes, God’s timing is always appropriate timing for best outcome of situations in our lives.

    Thank you for this great story of God’s timing and how it takes time for all the threads to be woven together.
    May God bless you as you are so gifted in making HIS truth meaningful in our life journey.

    Yes, we all go through times when you think; how can I get through this. God is a God of grace and gives to us in His own time. We just have to trust Him in His timing and realize that He has a reason for all that we go through. Blessings to you and the devotionals you write.

    Hi Vincent.
    I just wanted to say how much I always look forward to the days I see your devotionals. I think I like your devotionals because I feel akin to you, being that I too, am a salvationist and also, I am from Toronto.
    Your life always amazes me. I am in awe of the wonders God works every day in the lives of others and in my own. I am so glad the Lord works through you to speak to me, and others too, I am sure.
    I hope this email finds you well. May God’s Holy Spirit be with you always.

    Dear Vincent,
    What a wonderful story to help us understand God’s timing. We so much want our timing, and we are so impatient some time. That is amazing how you wove the threads to show us God does have a plan for all of us and wants us to remember that and trust him. When we take the time, we can see in our own lives how God has helped us – placed the right person in our path, guided us to the right position for us, showed us how when we helped someone, they then helped someone else and ….
    Thank you for sharing so freely your wisdom and encouragement. May you enjoy this beautiful day that God has given us. Blessings.

    What a JOY to read your real-life account of how things really DO work for good to them who love our God and Saviour, Vincent. As always, your writing inspires and encourages me.

    Dear Vincent,
    I’ve enjoyed your recent devotionals.
    Blessings to you.

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