Approaching Sunday

Filter By:
Showing items filed under “Bethany Lay”

Timing Is Everything

“Timing is Everything”


            I love taking pictures, and I have learned that with photography “timing is everything” especially when it comes to taking pictures of animals.  One of my favorite pass times is to go to the zoo or a safari park and take pictures of the animals.  It is best to go while children are in school because then I can just stand to watch the animals for as long as it takes to get the perfect picture.

In an attempt to be the “cool aunt” when my nephews were young, I captured some great pictures that prove timing is everything.  These two pictures are hung right over the toilet in the bathroom the kids used.   They loved coming to see the “peeing monkey” and the “pooping elephant.”  Here they are for you to enjoy.


  As ridiculous as these are, they do prove that timing is everything in photography.  But we also see that timing is everything in this week’s text, Galatians 4:1-7.  Verse 4 says, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son,…”  Have you ever wondered why Jesus was born at that specific time in history?  (Spoiler alert: Both pastors will discuss this in their sermons this Sunday.)

            Romans 5:6 speaks of God’s timing again.  It says, “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.”  What made this “just the right time?” 

            Have you ever felt that you have been forgotten by God?  You fervently pray for a miracle, but each day brings the same misery.  I have been there.  Chris and I faced a time in our marriage when we could not make ends meet financially.  Every night I would cry myself to sleep convinced that we would have to file for bankruptcy.  We were not frivolously spending money, and we were faithfully tithing.  Chris has two jobs, and I had two jobs at home.  Yet month and after month, we were not sure how we were going to pay that rent.

            Eventually, I found a job opening, and I applied.  While qualified, I did not get the job.  The same job opening came around about six months later, but once again, I was overlooked.  After another six months had passed, the job once again presented itself, and this time I was hired.  Why did it take so long?  I was being faithful and obedient, yet it seemed that God was not answering my prayers.  Why would He allow us to struggle for so long?

Three years later, I was given a promotion, and that is when God’s timing became clear to me.  This promotion would not have come had I been hired the first time around.  In God’s perfect plan, timing was everything! 

            John Piper has translated Hebrews 4:16 as follows.  “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may find grace for a well-timed help.”  Throughout history God has proven that His time is perfect, and the Christmas season is a great reminder of this.  When you see the manger, remember that you can pray with confidence for his well-timed help.  His timing is everything.

Posted by Bethany Lay with

It's Bigger Than Me

“What are you doing that is so big if God does not intervene it is doomed to fail?”  This was the question presented to me by one of my young adult pastors several years ago.  I had just graduated from college and I was leading the college students and singles at my church.  We were taking a mission trip to Brazil, and I was asked to lead the trip.  Having worked for a missions organization, this was not a new experience for me, except that this time I was the primary leader…completely in charge. 
As the pastor presented this question on that Sunday morning, I immediately thought of this trip.  It was bigger than me!  It was so big that if God did not prepare the way, I knew that I would fail at some point.  All I could do was be completely obedient to what He called me to do and trust Him for the rest.
The day of our trip arrived, and by this time our itinerary was arranged.  We had a connecting flight in Brazil, and we had no one with us who spoke fluent Portuguese.  We would need to get our luggage, go through customs and recheck our luggage before changing planes.  The missionaries would not be there, so there was no one familiar with the airport or the language to meet our team.  I was a ball of nerves, but I kept trusting that somehow God would take care of things.  This was bigger than me, but it was not bigger than Him.
As we got off the plane, I stayed to the back of the group to make sure that everyone was together, and as I was coming through the gate, I heard people calling “Ella, ella!”  My team finally realized that the people were looking for me.  As we connected, I learned that the missionaries had called ahead of us and arranged for some of the airport staff who spoke English to meet us and walk us through customs.  Not only did we get through, but it was easier than it would have been otherwise!
God will always direct our paths if we trust in Him.  Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.  I was not required to “take care of everything.”  I was only to trust God with all my heart and acknowledge Him in all of my ways.
If you are like me, when I heard that we were going to do a series on evangelism, I had the same feeling of anxiousness that I had before this trip.  I always feel that evangelism is so big that if God does not intervene I am doomed to fail!  But shouldn’t that be the point?  Evangelism is not dependent upon us.  God is the Evangelist.  He has simply asked us to join Him and to be “all in.”
This week we will be looking at a man in the book of Luke.  His name is Levi.  You may recognize him as Matthew.  God called Levi and said, “Follow me.”  Luke 5:28 says, “And leaving everything, he rose and followed Him.”  In the next verse, Levi is hosting a party for all his friends who did not know Jesus so that they could meet his Savior. 
You will find that Levi was “all in.”   He didn’t worry about success or failure.  He didn’t half-heartedly follow.  He didn’t wait to see how his friends would react.  We aren’t told the outcome of this party.  We are simply told that he left everything to follow Christ and introduce those in his circle of influence to Him.
I am challenged by Levi to remember that evangelism is bigger than me.  It is so much bigger than if God does not intervene, it is doomed to fail.  My part is simple…go all in!  Are you all in to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ? 


Posted by Bethany Lay with