Isn’t God’s timing fantastic? I can’t give details but I have just experienced that this morning – where someone’s generosity led to someone else receiving a gift at exactly the right time when only that person and God knew of the need. I was the courier in the experience and left rejoicing and laughing at God’s timing and humbled at having been able to be a very small part of him blessing someone else. The miracle is not just in God’s timing, it is that we listen and respond at just the right time, prompted by his Spirit.
I am reminded of one of my favourite Jesus moments in the New Testament, but one that is so obscure that I have even had Christians tell me I had made it up! (It’s in Matthew 17: 24-27). Tax collectors came to collect a temple tax from Jesus and his team. Jesus suggested that Kings do not collect tax from their sons so technically as he was The Son of the temple ‘owner’ he should not have to pay temple tax. But in order not to cause offence he told Peter to go fishing. Inside the mouth of the first fish he caught would be a four drachma coin – enough to pay for Jesus and Peter.
Some fish in the sea of Galilee gather up eggs from the sea bed and hold them in their mouth until they hatch. It is quite possible then that a fish would gather up a shiny coin in that way. But to know which fish it was, and to know that Peter would catch that fish first was something else! It was all about God’s timing. I suspect that Peter’s response when it happened was like mine this morning – rejoicing, laughing and humbled.
(That has all the hallmarks of a great magic trick: a good story, a seemingly impossible scenario and a dramatic reveal (with the kicker that the coin was enough for both taxes, not just Jesus). If I could do that trick I would soon have my own TV special!)
A couple of weeks ago I was preaching on prayer and quoted Bishop William Temple: “When I pray, coincidences happen…” Was today a coincidence?
Timing is everything
Two lawyers are in a bank, when, suddenly, armed robbers burst in, waving guns and yelling for everyone to freeze.
While several of the robbers take the money from the cashiers, others line the customers, including the lawyers, up against a wall, and proceed to take their wallets, watches, and other valuables.
While this is going on, one of the lawyers jams something into the other lawyer’s hand. Without looking down, the second lawyer whispers, “What is this?”
The first lawyer replies, “it’s the £100 I owe you.”