When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Romans 5:6
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
The hall looked beautiful. It was generously decorated with palms, orchids and other brightly colored flowers easily found in Thailand. The bride, groom and wedding attendants were dressed and ready for the ceremony. As the time approached 3 p.m., the wedding party made its way down the elevator and along the hallway that led to the ballroom, where the ceremony was about to begin.
When they had nearly reached the main entrance, they were somewhat surprised at how quiet the area was. With more than 400 guests invited, there should have been more noise and more people moving around. When the groom peeked around the corner and through the open doorway, he was shocked. He saw only about 30 to 40 people in the hall.
"Why are you surprised?" asked the best man. "This is Thailand. Nothing ever starts on time." So, the bride, groom and wedding attendants all walked back to the elevator and returned to the waiting room. They remained there until 3:45 p.m., when most of the guests had finally arrived, and the ceremony could begin.
Time in Thailand is quite flexible. In the villages and small towns of the rural areas people are very relaxed and easygoing. Even in the capital city of Bangkok, schedules are not usually rigid. Due to the frequent heavy traffic jams, everyone understands it's very difficult to arrive anywhere on time. Many stories are told of someone getting caught in traffic and arriving at a meeting after it had finished. Because everyone has had these experiences, many people don't try very hard to arrive on time and feel no stress about arriving late.
But God is never late. Our text for this devotion says that Christ came at just the right time. God has a plan and He is working out His plan according to His perfect schedule. The Bible often mentions things happening at "the proper time" (see Matthew 24:45; Luke 1:20; 2 Thessalonians 2:6) or at "the appointed time" (Daniel 11:27; Habakkuk 2:3; Zephaniah 2:2; Matthew 8:29). These are good reminders to us that God is in control. Before creation He set the schedule. He determined the right time for each part of His plan to be accomplished.
For the last months Thailand has seen incredible flooding. Many have become discouraged and desperate. But for those who have been called to faith in Christ, there is the knowledge that the Lord, in His time, does what is best for His children. Even now they are learning to say with the Psalmist: "But as for me, I trust in You. O Lord, I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in your hands ..." (Psalm 31:14-15a).
By faith we can look into the future with confidence that God knows what's coming and that history is happening according to His sovereign design. God's timing is always perfect.
THE PRAYER: O Lord, we pray for those in Thailand whose lives have been turned upside down. We pray this time of testing may bring them closer to You. May we all, by the Holy Spirit's power be able to say: "You are our God. Our times are in Your hands." Finally, give us the faith to wait in patience for Your perfect timing. This we ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: The author of today's international daily devotion is Dennis Denow, who is a missionary with The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod World Mission and the husband of LHM- Thailand Director, Monta Ekwanit Denow. He volunteers to teach weekly English classes for the LHM-Thailand staff and occasionally assists with other ministry projects. Lutheran Hour Ministries-Thailand focuses on sharing the Gospel and making contacts with local people through various community radio programs, Equipping the Saints (ETS) evangelism training, Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), print, Internet and Gospel text messaging. The staff also conducts special children's activities and does presentations in many government schools.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries