Too Late

"I'm homesick—longing for your salvation;
I'm waiting for your word of hope.
My eyes grow heavy watching for some sign of your promise;
how long must I wait for your comfort?"
Psalm 119:81-82 (The Message)

This last Monday night, I wished I could be two people at once. My daughter had her first softball game and my son had his spring concert. The ball field was thirty-five minutes away and Rob was out of town. Someone else graciously offered to take Chase to his concert. Although he was disappointed I couldn't come that night, we both were happy that I would get the chance to hear him the next day at a concert for the students. I took my daughter to her game and saw her get on base twice. Knowing that I would be able to see Chase the next day, I felt I had made the best decision.

I called the school the next morning to find out the exact time of the concert. According to the person in the office, it started at 1:55 p.m. The weird thing was that Chase had said that it was at 9:30 a.m. I asked her three times if that was the correct time before I hung up. She assured me that it was.

I hurried through my busy morning. At 1:35 p.m. I got in the car and headed for school. Usually known for being "fashionably" late, I was happy that I had given myself so much time to get there. I would be able to talk to Chase and announce my presence to him before the concert began.

I walked through the gym doors as his band teacher was coming out. She looked very surprised to see me,

"What are you doing here?" she asked.

"I'm here for the concert. I couldn't be here last night," I responded.

"But this is the seventh grade concert [Chase is in 6th grade]," she replied.

My heart dropped into my shoes. Chase had a solo part that he wanted me to see so badly. I started imagining him looking for me to walk through the door at 9:30 a.m. when the 6th graders actually played ("I told you I played at 9:30 a.m., Mom," he told me later). His disappointment would have grown with the realization that maybe I had forgotten about him. He had played the part he was so proud to let me hear knowing that I was not there to hear him.

I left the building with tears in my eyes, realizing how distressed my son would be when I saw him next. When I picked him up an hour later, he was trying to be brave, not wanting to hurt me. I couldn't bear it.

"Chase, honey, I am so sorry. I didn't forget you! I just came at the wrong time."

Girlfriends, have you ever wondered where in the world God is? There are times in life when I have needed to KNOW that He is there and He is silent. It seems as though He has forgotten me. And I struggle with the truth I know in my head from Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

That is hard to believe when I look for Him at critical points in my life and it doesn't seem that He has shown up. My hurt has turned to anger. It's only in the last two years that I have refused to believe my feelings. My sweet friend, He is here, right here, at the most desperate point of our need. And when you and I can't see Him, I wonder if His heart grieves over our hurt like I did over my son's.

The difference between my God and me is that He never gets times confused. He is not bound by time, but I am. He doesn't make any mistakes. He doesn't show up a nano-second too late. It's just my own flawed perspective of someone who is bound by a clock and the days on the calendar. My Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is not slow as I would consider slowness to look. He is perfect in all His ways, never making one mistake. The difficulty is when my time clashes with a God who is not a slave to seconds, minutes, hours, and days. In the face of eternity, my seventy or eighty years on this planet will hardly even register. And yet, He is entirely devoted to me while I am bound by time on this planet. He understands my disappointment. And He will listen to my hurt, even if He does not yet reveal why He didn't seem to be there when I needed Him most. The truth is HE HAS NEVER LEFT ME--EVER.

Jesus, help me in my skewed perspective. Don't let me be bitter over what seems to have been Your absence in my life. You can never lie to me. But my feelings get so hurt sometimes. Give me hope to know that even when I can't see You in my circumstances, You are there. Time does not control You. You are never too late or too early. One day, time will be no more, and You and I will see together how many times my emotions lied to me. Help me to hold onto that hope and trust Your Word that offers me this glad assurance: You are never too late.