There are a lot of areas in life where timing is everything. How long something stays in the oven or on top of the stove, did you buy this milk last week or last month, if he’d thrown that pass a moment sooner, we would have been state champions, she told me she loved me but I waited too long to say it back.

This year our white Christmas arrived on December 26th, and we woke up to buckets of snow falling from the sky and 2-3 inches layered on the ground. For some, the snow day meant a day of hindered travel, an extra day far from loved ones, a day where business is not happening or a long awaited flight isn’t taking off. For others, it meant an extra day with family and friends, a few more hours of togetherness before a long drive or a late flight commences, or perhaps it just kept everyone together for a few more hours, when a general dispersing would usually have taken place sooner. While this snow day brought a little extra togetherness for us, the lesson in every possibility is clear: Timing is everything.

We don’t exactly know for sure that Jesus’ birth came on December 25th, 2,000 years ago. We don’t know how much he weighed, how many inches long he was, or whether he was bald or had a head full of hair. But from the scriptural account in Luke, we do know that He was on time:

So it was that while they were there {in Bethlehem for the census} the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, for there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:6-7

Based on how long it normally takes for a baby to come to full term and be born, whether they counted days or weeks or months or seasons in those days, Mary knew the time had come, and Jesus was to be born. He didn’t come while they were still journeying to Bethlehem, or while they were on the way home. In Bethlehem the full-term baby was delivered, just as the prophets had predicted centuries before, and right on time.

I’ve been thinking a lot about premature and full-term births, being pregnant myself this Christmas. We know that in most cases, unless the life of the child or mother is in danger, it’s normally healthiest for babies to be born around that 40-week marker. And this Christmas, it struck a chord with me that Jesus was on time.

It reminded me that He’s always on time. And that, even though we sometimes feel like we’re in the middle of a crazy long wait, or something has come sooner than we expected, we can trust that with Jesus, if we’re trusting Him to come through for us, He’ll be there on time, even if on time isn’t as quickly (or is more quickly) than we would’ve preferred.

While I’m thinking about this year in my life, taking stock of what has happened and navigating the road map of what’s ahead, I’m encouraged that I can trust Jesus to point me in the direction of the right timing. If I follow His lead, I won’t prematurely jump into something, but I won’t stay in a comfy warm bubble when it’s time to step out, either.

If we have seventy or eighty years to steward, more than anything else, it’s worth considering that timing is everything. It is good to wait on the Lord. It is good to step out where He leads and when He leads.

May His Star lead you to the place where Jesus can be born into every situation in your life. May you pause to reflect with gratitude at what has gone by this year. May the grace and strength of Jesus enable you to see each season of life through to full-term. And may you remember with joy the grace that’s available for each and every season.


See also Psalm 32:8-9