When my son was very small, he had a fascination with clocks. In fact, his first word was ‘clo’ (though it was actually addressed to a barometer, we were so excited to hear this recognisable word that that discrepancy never bothered us, nor the fact that he was more interested in pointing out inanimate objects rather than addressing his parents, as is usually the case with toddlers…)

When he was small, any outing usually ended up looking at clocks. Shopping trips in Goldthorpe ended at ‘Daddy Clock’ (aka the parish church, so named by him because it was big, like daddies are!):

Trips to Barnsley ended up in the Co-op department store (long since gone), gazing adoringly at grandfather clocks (for years, he vowed to buy his own once he was working and could afford it!)

I can also remember a Christmas trip to Sheffield where Garry went to the shops in Orchard Square and I stayed with Stephen gazing at the German clock there:

Years later, we enjoyed a visit to Wells Cathedral enormously, partly because of the astronomical clock there, where the dial represents the geocentric view of the universe, with sun and moon revolving round a central fixed earth. It may be unique in showing a philosophical model of the pre-Copernican universe.

This fascination with clocks was also connected to a story we used to read about a ‘clock man’ whose mantra was “It’s always the right time to do God’s will.” I don’t remember the details of that story anymore, but that saying became part of our family phrases. Whenever we struggled with doing something or tended to procrastinate, we would remind ourselves “it’s always the right time to do God’s will.” Good children’s stories speak as powerfully to the adults reading them as to the children, I’ve found! Truth is truth, after all.

At the moment, I am waiting – at times hopefully, at times expectantly, at times desperately, at times dejectedly – for God’s answer to something very specific which has (in my eyes, at least) a definite time limit on it. I am waiting for God’s time and discovering more and more that His time and my time are not always aligned. Just as a clock can be slow or fast and on those occasions is inaccurate in telling the time, my timing is generally not always in sync with God’s! It’s always the right time to do God’s will, yes, but there are times when we are waiting for God to move, waiting for Him to slot the next piece into the jigsaw of our lives and the waiting-for-the-right-time is difficult. Ecclesiastes 3 talks about there being a time for everything, but recognising the right time for things and waiting for the right time can be frustrating and (if I’m honest) burdensome. Sometimes God’s promises come with timings (eg Gen 21:2, Ex 9:18), but often we are left with the instruction to ‘trust and obey’ even as we wait for God’s time. Our natural impatience can lead us to take things into our own hands (often with disastrous results – look at Abraham’s decision to sleep with Hagar or God’s rejection of Saul because of his impatience and disobedience in 1 Samuel 15, for example.) In the end, we are wise if we hold off and allow God to work things out in His time, which (as we are reminded in Galatians 4) is a set time, fully ripened and ready. At just the right time, Paul says, Christ died for the ungodly (Rom 5:6). Let’s attempt to adjust our clocks to God’s time and be content because our times are in His hands (Ps 31:5).

In the meantime, we are ‘waiting here for You’. It’s all we can do. We can’t make the impossible happen. Only God can do that.
‘Waiting Here For You’, Christy Nockels