In many parts of Asia, standing in queue is not the norm to purchase something and to pay for purchases when the customers are served on a first come basis. It is pandemonium when a free for all situation prevails on sales days at retail or wholesale establishments and customers rush in as soon as stores’ doors are open in the hope of grabbing the bargains.
A pastor recounted that his aged mother asked him why the Lord had not taken her to be with Him in glory, being weary of sickness and inability to independently fulfil basic actions in living e.g. walking, bathing, feeding and sitting. Pastor advised her that her queue number to meet the Lord had not been called.
How many of us are waiting for our queue number to be called? is it to end of contract, getting examination results, going home, getting married, entering college, or even giving birth to babies and dying?
Waiting for the right time can be long, dreaded or looked forward to with eagerness. It could be near or far in time and it could be having impact on you alone, on others as well or the whole local body of Christ in terms of a ministry in the local church.
- Jesus, to his mother, at the Wedding at Cana: 2:4 – “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.”
- Jesus, to the Samaritan at the well: 4:21 – “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.” 4:23 – “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him.”
- The Evangelist/Narrator:
7:30 – Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come.
8:20 – He spoke these words while he was teaching in the treasury of the temple, but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.
- Jesus, to his disciples, after Andrew and Philip tell him that some Greeks wanted to see him: 12:23 – “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” 12:27 – “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.”
- The Evangelist/narrator, beginning the “Book of Signs”; introducing the Washing of the Feet: 13:1 – Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
- When his brothers encourage him to go up to Jerusalem, Jesus initially refuses their request because “his time has not yet come.” However, he does eventually go to Jerusalem in secret. One way to explain this is that Jesus said that he would not go now, but he would go later, separate from the family.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Proverb 3:1
What is the season you find yourself in? Have you sought the Lord on whether you should stay within your area of ministry or work? Has the Lord spoken to you to move on to a higher level of service or to divert to something else? Is He calling you to serve adults, youth or children? Be in evangelism or training? or even baby sitting? Are you to be a home-maker or to work at a bank to grow investments in children and family, or assets of others?
Some are told to continue to stand in the queue while others whose numbers are called are paid or pay to move on. Standing in the queue could involve pain or sacrifice. Yet we cannot be distracted by a call of nature or even by a phone call somewhere else. If we do so we miss our turn and never get in the queue again. It will be opportunity lost if we do not remain faithful in waiting. I hear of those in the long queues for buying an I-Phones whatever model, when they were first marketed. You start at the end of the queue if you moved from your original position. Are we losing our queue position by being distracted by the things of this world or by friends who are unbelievers ? Remember, when we love and serve the Lord there is a reckoning in our faithfulness and steadfastness. We must be ready at all times to stay or move in the queue and finally to move out of the queue on accomplishment of our mission.
What have you been told? Don’t be pushed out by others – stay the course if you must. Don’t listen to the chatter, lies and temptations of others and the enemy. Know your place and stick with it focussed on the prize you will be able to buy or obtain when your queue number is called. The prize is to the faithful.
An expatriate auditor who worked with me many years ago was not used to just barging up the bus at the end of the day to go hastily home. That was when queueing was not the order of the day in Singapore. He came to office one day, to confess that he had elbowed his way into the bus that was brimming with home bound workers at the end of the previous work day. He felt guilty for doing so for he was much bigger in stature compared to many Singaporeans, and it was against his western culture to elbow old ladies, young children and the weak as he was a strappy young footballer. Are we elbowing others out of the queue without good reason? Are we jumping the queue?
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is plante
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
God has a perfect time for whatever we should be involved in. Out of His time, there will be consequence. Like a jig saw puzzle, life will be jumbled and pieces missing. The picture will not be perfect.
Friends, pray to stay within the queue of God for there is no better place to be at than to be in the will of God at the right time and doing the right thing. Don’t jump ship, move prematurely or too quickly. Be there just at the right time – His time, not yours.
Response: What will You have me do dear Lord? Take me and use me and let me be Your vessel who is fit for Your use. Help me hear Your voice and to trust and obey. Help me bide by my time in Your schedule of things. Help me be patient and faithful if it takes longer than I expect, and depend on You to give me the added strength and endurance needed to wait for my queue number to be called. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.