When the time had fully come, God sent his Son. ~ Galatians 4:4 (NIV)
Barton Mitchell served as a private during the American Civil War. He fought for the North. Things were not going well for the Northern army. Things were going so poorly, in fact, that Great Britain was on the verge of recognizing Southern independence. If the South could gain just one more victory, Great Britain might intervene on behalf of the South. In other words, if the North lost one more battle, it might lose the war.
Which brings us back to Barton Mitchell. One day, Barton and his comrades were on a hillside, taking a break from their march. The place where they were resting was a former campsite for the Southern army. As they sat, Barton looked down and spotted some cigars wrapped in a piece of paper. Interested in the cigars, Barton picked them up. And that’s when he discovered that the paper around the cigars contained the marching plans for the Southern army. Quickly, Barton passed the paper up the chain of command. The information he found that day was enough to give the North a much-needed victory.
In so doing, Barton Mitchell may well have saved his country. It was one of the most dramatic episodes of good timing that history has ever seen.
But there was a far better episode of good timing: the one that took place in Bethlehem.
The apostle Paul wrote, “When the time had fully come, God sent his Son.” At a time when the Roman Empire ruled the known world; at a time when immorality and religious confusion seemed rampant; at a time when many of God’s people felt isolated and forgotten—it was in that moment when all things were ready. It was in that moment when God demonstrated that he was in control. It was in that moment when God sent his Son.
As you look at the calendar on your wall, keep in mind that God’s sense of good timing has not changed. The One who sent his Son at just the right time to cleanse you from all sin—he is the same One who guides all things. He is the same One who holds and blesses every moment of your life.
Heavenly Father, you are the One who sent my Savior into this world at just the right time. Move me to trust your timing in every aspect of my life. Amen.