July 22, 2007

in His own timing

everyday i am learning about God's perfect timing.

there are times when an idea pops into my head, and i don't know whether it's my own, or God's, or the devil's...

and there are times when the distinction is all too obvious.

just recently i wanted to speak out. yup, *i*. but quietly, oh-so-silently, i felt that God wanted me to do something else entirely. the more i let my thoughts become still, there was this unspoken feeling that...

"now is not the time to speak..."

"this is not the time..."

"not now..."

listening to God seems tricky, especially if you've never done it before. but eventually you will get used to that still small voice (1 Kings 19:12) --- and the hard thing is how to follow it, especially if you don't want to :)

but in this particular situation, it was even trickier: i did not hear or feel any actual words from God. there was a feeling that i wanted to act on, and some other feeling that made me think twice, thrice...

until i decided, okay. i will not speak out.

for someone who loves to debate, and thinks she's pretty good at it, and writes and speaks a lot --- that says a lot. (plus the fact that i didn't explicitly hear God's instructions this time...)

but it took around only thirty minutes for that decision to be justified. the person i wanted to talk to was the one who approached us. and in the coming days, like clockwork, i did not have to do anything --- the circumstances approached me. they unfolded in the most "natural" way to the casual observer, which of course includes the person i wanted to talk to. knowing God, i can tell He was obviously behind all of this.

i got to talk, not just to him but to people important to him, not just once but a number of times. and though i still wanted to speak out about the truth of God, eventually i realized that God's plan was for me to show the love of God.

i am in the academe, and so was the person i wanted to reach out to. the intellectual/scholarly/philosophical approach to proving the existence of God seems like the reasonable thing to do. that's how i often did it anyway. (now that i think of it, when else have i stopped to ask God how He would have me do things?)

and so there i was. after the initia, tad-confusing moment of deciding to keep silent (for the moment), i soon felt God's love for this person. no matter that he denounced the idea of God in public. no matter that he probably did so all his life.

God loves him anyway.

and that thought just blew me away.

the saying "God loves us" becomes so cliche sometimes for me. i know it to be true but it loses meaning when i hear it over and over again...until times like this when, for an instant, i am once again overwhelmed by the power of that Truth that saves us all.

the intellectual debates and scientific proofs can happen later. besides, he's probably encountered that many times. (at the time i wanted to speak out, someone else actually did. others approached him too, but whether to agree, disagree, or ask questions, i'm not sure.)

but the love of God? that might be new. or just...forgotten.

i may not know all the details of his life or God's plan for him, but i do know that one time that i had to be silent.

and as the days passed by i got itchy: itchy to speak out, but in God's appointed time. gradually, as with many other things, God's will became my own.

sure enough, i got to see them one last time in the most "natural" of circumstances. in fact it was so "natural" that i didn't immediately recognize it as *the* moment.

"can i pray for you?"

truly God's ways are better than mine.


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