My two kids are hilarious, and not in a kids-say-the-darndest-things sort of way. My two teenagers are quick-witted, genuinely funny people. My 16-year-old daughter is always cracking jokes. And when we’re just sitting around the house, she keeps us in stitches. But when she cracks those same jokes while my wife and I are lecturing her about being disrespectful (again), the girl gets a very different reaction from us. Timing is important.

As children of God, we too have a limited understanding of our heavenly Father’s timing. As a result, we get impatient, we act out, we go our own way, and sometimes we just give up entirely. We could never comprehend the totality of God’s big picture, with its infinite moving parts and vast timelines interwoven throughout.

We may not understand God’s timing, but Scripture does spell out some of its aspects.

God has a plan with a timeline, and it includes us.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
— Galatians 4:4–5

God’s time is not the same as ours.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
— 2 Peter 3:8–9

As we wait on God’s timing, we have to be patient.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
— Galatians 6:9

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
— 1 Peter 5:6–7

A better time is coming.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
— Romans 8:18

OK, so God’s timing is a great big mystery that we’ll never understand. But here’s the great news: 

Just because we can’t know his timing, it doesn’t mean we can’t know God!

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
— Jeremiah 29:13