At Just The Right Time

Wednesday, January 4, 2023
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Listen while you read: "The Head That Once Was Crowned"1 (Lyrics)

Romans 5:6-8 – For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (ESV)

I am getting older, and with age comes an increasing awareness of the need for God's timing, grace, and provision, not just for eternity — what I like to call "pie in the sky when you die" — but also His providential mercy to enable us to get by in the here-and-now. Providential grace comes with a side order of genuine humility to ask God for help and to accept the outcome.

Before the cold weather arrived, I felt convicted to fix my six-foot fence. Six years before, I had fixed the fence where it had been mostly held up by the bushes. I have newish neighbours who have fretted about the state of the fence, and I guess that fixing it was God's prompting about being peaceable.

Off to the local lumber store I went and purchased a new fence panel. Sadly, I am no longer able to get large items onto the roof of the car on my own, so I asked for help from a store employee. As we were about to lift the fence panel onto the car, a friend, John, walked out of the store and offered to help, which I accepted, as he is younger, strong, tall, and willing. Cheekily, I asked if he would come home and unload the fence into the garden. Friends like him are rare, because not only is he willing, able, and a part of my church community, but also this day, he was by proxy God's hands to my aid.

I consider that it was God's love for me, paying it forward as I sought to love my neighbour, by providing this blessing of help at just the right time to move the fence into the garden.

Over the years, I have observed many ways of God's personal provision in everyday situations, and how He has humbled me in the process. Jesus wants to show us how He cares for us — sometimes despite our lack of expectation. This help given was just one example of how God's love has worked out for me: His being there for us, even before we have asked. It is a gift.

I know that my neighbours are pleased, too!

I wonder how often we do not recognize the goodness of God in our lives when we partner with Him in doing the right thing and so find a blessing in the doing. Let us rejoice in these gracious interventions of a loving Trinity.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we give You thanks that at the right time, You come alongside us, seen and unseen. We give You the praise and glory that You deserve because You first loved us enough to come incarnate to pay the price to meet with us where we are today. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Rod. Happy New Year.

    Yes, God’s love for His children is confirmed everyday. Amen.

    Thank you for sharing this wonder filled devotional with us. Blessings.

    This what Brother Lawrence called praying continually. Thanks, Rod, for the reminder of our present awareness. Blessings.

    Been there …done that… fence and asking for help at lumber yard.
    Have a great day … and take a minute to evaluate before lifting.
    70 years young!

    Thank you, Rod, for yet another sign of God’s goodness. Being a frail human being, I often see answers to prayers that I have not prayed. My finite mind cannot grasp his inexhaustible love and more abundant will for our lives! I love your writing!

    Thanks, Rod, for another of your very interesting and positive devotionals. How true it is that just at the perfect timing, the Lord comes through and takes care of a situation we need resolved. He certainly deserves our constant praise and thankfulness for His love and care in our daily lives. Blessings for your reassuring words.

    Hello Rod Marshall,
    Belated Merry Christmas and a Very Happy, Bright, and Prosperous New Year in Merry Old England.
    God bless and enjoy your new fence,
    (Ontario, Canada)

    Happy New Year Roderick
    This was so good to read and think about. I cannot agree with you more, God’s timing is everything and it amazes me every time He shows up or sends someone or something just at the right time.
    God is good!!
    God bless.

    Hello Mr. Marshall,
    Happy New Year, may it be filled with many blessings and full of health and happiness for you and your loved ones.
    I wanted to say what a great devotional you wrote today, reminding me always The Lord is by our side even when we can’t see him.
    Have a Blessed day!

    Amen Rod. Great illustration.
    I knew l must be considered old when a young man at Walmart quickly came over to ask if he could lift the 40 plus bag of dog food into my cart. I very happily said, yes and thank you. But l wish he had also been there to lift it back out of the cart and put it into the back of my truck!
    Be blessed and have a wonderful New Year.

    Good morning Rod,
    You are a good story teller with a good message. God is always there for us even when we don’t recognize His help. In your message, God provided the help you needed, He provided your friend the chance to feel useful and He brought comfort to your neighbours because they didn’t have to worry about the fence any longer and He provided your wife with a contented husband because you achieved a goal. It is a chain reaction. Now you shared your story with many readers of PresbyCan and they received an important message. God is good.
    Blessings for 2023 and I look forward to more devotionals.

    Hi Rod,
    Your message hit home here in Texas. My husband had a three-week hospital stay a few years ago. He is very fortunate not to have kidney dialysis three times a week. Since covid our visits to the clinic have been virtual. This time when the clinic called, I decided it was time for an in-person visit. My husband growled a bit about that but then decided it was a good idea. AND indeed, God’s providence at work, as the doctor he saw that day was the one who took the most interest, seemed to have the best knowledge, etc. And, he is proactive in planning to prevent a relapse which would result in dialysis. To my way of thinking God’s providence was/is at work.
    Thanks for your message…always benefit from them.

    Thank you, Rod. This is so true — the ability to accept the help of others and God’s blessings when they do.

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