I don't know how much you know about Jesus. So I'll start with his: the man was an incredibly interesting guy during his time on Earth. His life, if it truly were the life of a King, was full of the unexpected. HIs birth and upbringing were unexpected. His friends were unexpected. The people he paid attention to were unexpected. What he did with his time was unexpected. Most of his recorded words were unexpected. Some refer to all of these surprises as an upside-down Kingdom.
It may all seem backwards, but I can surely relate. My life often feels more full of the unexpected than the expected. The surprises never seem to stop coming. I could talk well into the night with you, over a glass of wine if I wasn't pregnant, over what seems completely upside-down to me.
As I've learned about Jesus, I've discovered that he heard God's voice and did as God commanded him. He followed God's plan. But like all smart, well-meaning sons, (I have one...and a few daughters), surely he had some questions and concerns along the way. Isn't there a better way? Can't we just do this? And why not right NOW? Yet being perfect and all, he still trusted his Father's voice.
One of these instances that baffles me is the story of the temple clearing. The story goes that one day Jesus walks into a temple and overturns a bunch of tables, confronting the corruption inside as moneychangers profited at the expense of the poor and the foreigner as they sought goods from vendors (exchanging their money for the required temple shekel at unfair rates). What I find most interesting is that Jesus had come with his family to the temple each year for Passover, witnessing this injustice over and over, year after year, since he was old enough to remember. So why now? What was it about that day? Did he not care before?
Author Alicia Chole writes of this story,
The fact that Jesus witnessed injustice in the temple courts years before His protest affirms that timing matters. Taking action because there is a need is a very different motivation that taking action because there is a God. In addition to being exhausting, the former is led by what our eyes see and what our hearts feel. The latter is led by loving listening and dependance-inspired discipline. (40 Days of Decrease, p82)
Jesus, full of compassion, exceedingly merciful, and overflowing with love, waited for years for his Father's yes. Jesus didn't start his public ministry until his 30s, which means he walked past the hurting, the broken, and the oppressed, knowing he had the power to heal and make new, but waiting for his Father to say, "Now." Him. Her. Them. There. Now.
There are matters stirring in each of our hearts, and moments we are motivated to respond. Yet many times, the weight of the matter and the gravity of the motivation still don't produce the components necessary for a response that feels like enough. Timing matters.
So often we wait. We carry a burden, we hold on to a dream, we brainstorm a strategy, we tuck it in our pocket, and we wait. But let us not wait in apathy or disappointment. Let us wait in expectation of the unexpected. Let us wait in hope that God's word will one day be now, because His eyes never stop seeing and His heart never stops feeling, but as a Father, His timing is purposeful.
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." Psalm 19:21