Giving God a timeline

The other day a fellow blogger (Emily @ Amazing Grapes - go check her out!) posted about giving God ultimatums.

She gave an example of when she "heard a woman say at her bridal shower awhile back that she told God she wanted to be engaged by such and such month and married X amount of months later…and it all happened. She was engaged and bam! married within her timeline."
In her post Emily wonders whether as Christians we have any right to 'demand' anything from God. Do we have any right to tell him how our lives should pan out, when, where and how?
Maybe I'm writing this post a bit hastily before I've done any real bible study into it, but my gut reaction is that no we don't. God gives us desires and he wants us to pour out the longings of our hearts to him - but it just seems wrong to me to say to God 'you have to do it my way' because that's just making out like we know better than him. For every story I have heard about how God has provided something to fit into someone’s 'timeline' I must have heard several more about people waiting for things but getting many more blessings out of it in the long run.
It's funny because I have been thinking about this recently in light of our pregnancy.
Josh and I knew we wanted to start trying for a baby when we moved to Cardiff but I never wanted to be one of those women that gets really obsessed with getting pregnant. I trusted that God had it in hand. If we couldn't get pregnant then so-be-it - God is in control.
Except it doesn't really work like that does it? As months drew on and still no baby I couldn't help but get a bit obsessed. Having a family has always been a big part of my imagined future and to my mind it just seemed like a perfect time. I was stuck in a dead-end job in a new and lonely city and I just felt like I was just waiting for my life as a vicar's wife and mummy to begin.. Even though I was still trusting God, in my impatience I would still tell him what to do; 'Come on God - if you let us get pregnant as soon we can have the baby in the summer when Josh is on holiday and it will all work out perfectly!'
I know compared to many people we didn't have to wait that long to fall pregnant, but even now I can see how God was working through the timings and us having to wait six months:
- If I had fallen pregnant last term and had been as sick as I have been since January it would probably would have significantly harmed the new friendships that we have been able to build here in Cardiff, not to mention putting a huge burden on Josh in his first term at a new college.
- I would have probably also have been sick over Christmas which would have been miserable. As it is we have a really lovely time with family and I felt better than I have for years (normally I'm exhausted from work at Christmas and end up getting ill!).
- I now know why I haven't been able to find a permanent job...but God still provided a part time job for me in the mean-time.
- I was lamenting how empty my diary was at the start of January and plans I was trying to make kept falling through. Now I can see how much of a blessing that has been because I haven't had to cancel too many plans because of sickness.
There are many more ways in which I can see God's timing through this, and it's been the same throughout my life. Josh and I have been through real times of hurt and disappointment when things didn't seem to be working out how we thought they would but every single time God has used it and the outcome has been even better in the end than we ever imagined it could be.
This is just yet another reminder that God is faithful and that he has a good plan for our lives, and yet another reminder that I need to be less impatient and wait on him and trust him more.
Easier said than done!


  1. I thought this was so good! Thanks for the shout out. I agree so much about how we think we know, but then after the fact we can look back and see just how much He was running it and that it was 100% better than what we could have thought up. Its crazy how you can see what seemed like an empty schedule was His way of letting you get through your 1st trimester sickness w/out too many problems.

    He's definitely in control! Its such a comfort to know that.
    Emily at Amazing Grapes

  2. Totally agree. I mean... you can have what you want... your desires & hopes & dreams. But to say to God, "DO THIS MY WAY!" is just... kind of disrespectful? I think it's wrong.

    God saw fit to have her married within her timeline. He answered her prayers. But I don't think it's because she demanded them. I think it's just because He is good. However... there may come a time where he uses a different situation in her life to teach her about waiting. And not demanding what she wants!

    I waited till age 30 for a husaband (& for sex). And it got really really hard during those late twenties! But of course i see the perfect timing in it all now. And i'm glad i had my twenties single.

    Now? Well, I've been off the pill for 16 months & trying to conceive for almost 12 months. So yeah. That sucks. Really really sucks. I have never demanded God let us have babies now. i have reminded him i'm 34... haha. And that i really really want to be a mom more than anything! But i know He knows best. And i hope he answers our prayers to be parents soon!

  3. I read Emily's post too, and I totally agree with what you're saying Rachel - and I think God always has a purpose and good plans for us, even when it's not so obvious. :-)

  4. It's lovely to read this Rach :)