Where’s the Alarm Clock When I Need It? By Jo Russell

Where’s the Alarm Clock When I Need It?

As slanting sunlight shimmered through the window, Joanna woke with a start.  After her shift on her seasonal summer job in Alaska, she had dropped off to sleep in her clothes.

Now hours later, she glanced at the clock on her phone. “I have to be at work at 10:00! It’s 9:45! I’ll be late!”

She punched in her work number and started explaining before shift manager Leann could say a word. “Sorry!” Joanna began as she pulled on her work uniform, “I forgot to set up the alarm on my phone. It will take me about an hour to get there. I’ll be at work as soon as I can!”

“Don’t come in!” Leann advised.

“What?” Joanna wondered – Had she lost her job?

“Don’t come in now. It’s not time for you to come to work.”

“But it’s nearly ten o clock!”

“It’s ten. But we’re closing here, “Leann told her. “It’s 10:00 o clock at night, not in the morning! Have a good sleep! We’ll see you tomorrow!”

People knew what they were talking about when they called Alaska “The Land of the Midnight Sun.” For at the peak of summer in the north, to Joanna, ten in the morning and ten at night seem to look just about the same.

Time. Work and responsibilities shape us to think of time in a box: time to get up, time to get to work, time to make meals for the family, time to pay the bills, time to exercise, time to go to classes, time to study, a time to spend with someone important to you. All of life seems to be in compartments, seasons, and shifts of time.

But with God, it is not so. Expecting God to answer a prayer is appropriate. But God does not work around seasons, shifts, and years. His time line is unique. His prayer answers always come, but often not when or how we expect them.  His love is forever. His patience spans decades, lifetimes, and generations. God gives much time to those who do not know him or his son, Jesus.

In the timelines of our busy lives, are we putting God into a box? He won’t fit.

“With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” [2 Peter 3:8 NIV]

Busyness is not a reason to set God aside. For time with Him builds the most important relationship of all: one that ends in a bridge to eternity.

And it doesn’t matter to Him if it’s ten in the morning or ten at night. You will never be late.

 

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]

Worth the Wait for the Best Gift of All By Jo Russell

“My sister promised she’d send my Christmas present early, and here it is!” Marty, the middle-aged, was nearly jumping with excitement as she reached for the box at the counter of the rural post office.

The small-town post office provided a friendly place for residents to gather and gab, and  Postmistress Kelly knew them all. She smiled as she looked closely at the box addressed to her customer.

“What’s the return address?” Marty wanted to know.

Kelly read it from the box.

“I knew it! She got me something really great!” Marty continued to prattle while Kelly listened, “I think I know what it is! This is fabulous! It’s not even Halloween yet, and I’ve got a Christmas present from my sister! I love how she plans ahead and sends things early!”

Before Postmistress Kelly handed over the box, she noticed a small sticker on the side and pulled it off. She wadded up the sticky label and tossed it in the trash behind the counter. Then Kelly smirked at her excited customer.

“What was that?” Marty asked.

“The label told what was inside the box. That’s why I had to peel it off. This gift needs to be a surprise. That’s what your sister wanted.”

At last, Marty was nearly speechless. “But I really, really wanted to know what was in the box! You know, don’t you?”

Kelly smiled sweetly.

Marty paused to think, “Didn’t I tell you that this was for my husband?”

Postmistress Kelly continued with a grin, “This gift will be worth waiting for. Happy Holidays!”

 

There are many other secrets in the universe that may not be revealed by the holidays. And they are certainly worth the wait.

Take Paul’s words, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” [1Corinthians 13:12 NIV].

A lot of Biblical scholars have commented on this passage. But to make it simple, we can only see part of God and His perspective; His reasons for directing our lives as He does. We only know some of the characteristics and glory of God, but only a small part. Accepting all of Him is an act of faith.

One day, we will see the entire picture of God and His surprise gifts for us as He lets us unwrap them. And it will be worth the wait.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and  website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]