“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Joshua Harris said, “The right thing at a wrong time is a wrong thing,” but that’s not a new concept. And that idea has been rolling around in my brain a lot lately.
The other day, my three kiddos and I spent the day at my folks’ house. It was less than an hour before we had to leave to pick up my hubby from work and my youngest son asked to use the scissors to do some crafts. I love his creativity, but I also know that he makes confetti with paper and scissors. Literally. The smaller the piece, the better.
In addition, I know that he is not at all happy to pick up said confetti when it’s time to help clean up. And it wasn’t even our house and I know how willing Grammy can be to clean up for him.
For these reasons, I gave him a resounding ‘no’ to the scissors.
I continued working on the potato salad I was making in the kitchen for a potluck that evening, and about a half hour later, I came into the living room to find scissors out and…confetti.
But wait, there’s more! In addition to the above infraction, he had used Grammy’s notepad as his source of paper and her “To Do” or “Grocery” list was destroyed. We honestly couldn’t tell which list it had been, because there was only slight evidence of ink on the border of the paper. He had left that part and cut out of the middle of the page.
But that wasn’t all! He had made a really cool silhouette of a person. My heart sank.
He had deliberately disobeyed me. I even clarified to make sure he had heard me about the no scissors thing and he said, “Yeah, I did.”
What I did next pained me, but in my mind, it had to be done. I took his creation that he had made in direct disobedience and threw it away. There were some tears. Not just from him (though I kept mine so as not to blow the lesson I was attempting to teach.)
“The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.”
Today, as I was driving through Keizer, my eye caught a Mexican restaurant that brought back vivid memories that illustrate that point.
In the late summer of 2001, that same restaurant was a home style place known for good breakfast. Shane and I were newlyweds and were asked to meet his former pastor and his wife to discuss something of importance.
As we sat at the table across from them, I heard the words that I felt would make my dreams come true. They were asking Shane to be the youth pastor for their church. I had felt the call to be a minister’s wife for years. In fact, I had even had a “vision” or picture in my head of what it would look like…a youth group sitting in our living room having a Bible study or watching a movie and playing with our own kidlets. This seemed like a no-brainer. What’s more – we would even get a house and stipend out of the deal!
Looking back, I am so very thankful that Shane was much more reticent than I to say yes. But at the time, I was clueless. He said we would pray about it and get back to them. And then life went back to normal.
I went home excited and started borrowing books on leading youth. He didn’t talk about it at all. I would ask him on occasion if he had thought more about it and he said yes, but was still unclear. Where I was excited and proud, he was hesitant. I just didn’t get it. B
After nearly a month went by with no answer from him, I told him a decision must be made and he agreed. So we went away for the weekend to discuss and to pray.
Looking back, I can tell you the climate around this decision. We were newlyweds. We were 19 or 20 (I can’t remember if our birthdays had passed yet or not.) We were not following the Lord closely at all. In fact, if I’m being honest with myself, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t even saved at the time. I was faking it really well and did still care about the Lord’s will to some degree in my life, but I was talking the talk. We certainly weren’t Sanctified and weren’t filled with the Holy Spirit. Beside all that, we would be leaving our church home to lead at another church and that was one part neither of us liked.
After that weekend, we both felt that it would be foolish for us to lead their young people. We were kids ourselves. We had no life experience. And though we may not have admitted it then, we were not spiritually sound. God kept us from taking that position and I am so very glad He did. He saw what lie ahead. He saw that we would have many more things to face before we would be broken before the Lord and truly willing to come back to Him with honest hearts in full surrender. Had Shane become the youth pastor at that time, it would have resulted in disaster for that church…and for us.
“The right thing at the right time is a blessing!”
Has my son used scissors since his little escapade at Grammy & Grandpa’s?
Definitely. His creativity is a beautiful thing to behold. Within the parameters of our dining room table, with his safety scissors, and glue stick in hand (the true bane of my existence), his imagination runs wild.
It makes me smile.
“The right thing at the right time is a blessing!”
It is now almost exactly 15 years later and I can say with certainty that ministry was the right thing for us. But how thankful I am that our Heavenly Father didn’t allow us to put the cart before the horse. Shane started preaching in 2009. We were in our late 20’s by then. Soon thereafter we adopted our kiddos. We want nothing more than to live in the center of God’s will. We are blessed to be ministering in the same church we were back then and they are as much our family as our relatives are. Within the parameters of God’s perfect will, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can be fruitful for Him.
I hope it makes the Lord smile, too.
Are you facing a situation where you find yourself thinking, “Well, it seems to be the right thing…” I urge you to follow up by asking yourself, “But is it the right time?”
Intimacy before marriage is a perfect example of this. It was designed by God. It is perfect. It is wonderful. But done out of order, it can spell sure disaster. And I’m sure, the Lord grieves, just as I grieved when I had to discipline my son with some natural consequences.
God’s timing is perfect and you will be blessed for following His perfect plan for your life. If we continue reading in Ecclesiastes 3, His Word confirms just that.
“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
Blessings and much love,