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at the proper time

At the proper time


Jasper struggles with the concept of time. It is too abstract for him. This challenge is most noticeable when it comes to meals and snacks. He can sit down for breakfast, eat a bowl of oatmeal and fruit, walk away from the table, and five minutes later come to me ready for snack time. I have learned that setting a timer between activities in our morning, afternoon and evening routines helps – to some degree – with keeping him from eating us out of house and home. It also gives him small increments of time to process rather than big chunks of time.

If we didn’t have a schedule, and if there was no structure in our home, Jasper would easily eat his way through the day. He knows he gets to eat five times during the day, but what he cannot seem to put together in his mind is that there is a proper time for each of those meals. And we, his family, will take care to ensure that he is fed at breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the snacks in between. Jasper resists this regularly, but the timer gives him the security that the next mealtime is coming. Jasper’s eye is on the timer and on me. He is waiting, and anticipating, because he knows that as soon as the ring of the timer goes off, I will give him his food.

The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

Psalm 145:15,16

At the proper time.

A couple of things that I find comforting and encouraging in this verse is that there is a proper time for God’s provision, and he satisfies our desires.

Time is an abstract concept, and Jasper wrestles with comprehending the difference between five minutes and five hours. They are the same in his mind. He gets frustrated much the same way you and I get frustrated when it seems that God’s timing doesn’t make sense. His delays feel like no’s, five minutes feels like five hours, and we want to argue and negotiate our will into God’s heart. But he knows the proper time.

The eyes of all look to you…

What if we were to stop fighting for our time and our way and began to look to Jesus – to set our gaze upon him? Not just today, but tomorrow, and the day after that? What if we were to wait with our eyes on the one who is our Provider and rest knowing that the proper time is coming?

I think we might find more of that peace and rest we are so often longing for. I think that the deep internal work of keeping our eyes on Jesus would shift the trajectory of our desires and our expectation of the outcome.

…and you give them their food at the proper time.

Joel and I would never let Jasper starve. While we don’t give him food on demand, we do provide meals and snacks for him…at the proper time. If he leaves the dinner table hungry it is not because there has been a shortage of food. We supply everything he needs for each and every meal, and it is available to him at the proper time.

God will never forsake us or starve us. He may not give us what we ask for right away, but we can be confident that he will provide for us at the proper time. We can find peace, confidence and assurance in that promise. He knows our needs, and he knows our hearts. He cares for us like a parent cares for a child. He loves us.

You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

At the proper time God’s hand opens up and graciously satisfies the desires of every living thing.

But here is the thing about desire…

Our desires reveal the intentions of our hearts. Our hearts could be surrendered to God and our desires in alignment with his character, but they may also be clouded with self-seeking ambitions and pride.

Merriam Webster defines desire as: “to long or hope for: to express a wish for”.

We are not always the most impartial when it comes to discerning the true motivations of our hearts. We have to honestly ask ourselves, is what I am longing for, or wishing for, truly God’s best for me? Is this desire in alignment with God’s heart?

It is during that period of waiting on God, keeping our eyes on our Provider, that something incredible happens inside of us. Our hearts become more connected to God’s heart. Our dreams become more focused, and clear, and our desires begin to take on the form of God’s desires. We shed the self-seeking, self-gratifying parts of our wants and start coming into alignment with God’s wants and God’s desires.

I am grateful for the assurance that God is aware of me and that he is prepared to feed me and provide for me. I am thankful for a loving Father whose hand holds what I need, and that he promises to satisfy my desires. Even in the seasons of waiting, I can trust that God is working internally and externally on my behalf, and all that is required of me is to keep my eyes on Him.

That is something to be thankful for.

God is faithful and good…and he satisfies our desires…

At the proper time.

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