In college I remember learning the distinction between two types of “time” in scripture. There was “kairos”, and “chronos”. “Chronos” is an easy one, it’s where we get our word “chronological”. We have calendars, and monthly planners, and even down to the hour of what we’re doing each week. We know what time things have happened, are happening, and will happen.
The other word, “kairos”, is a bit more complex. Like when we were teenagers, listening to our loud music, fists raised to the air at a concert shouting, “this is OUR time!” Or when my wife looked at me, pregnant belly packed tight with our 3rd daughter, and said, “I think it’s time.”
As we began our adoption journey, we knew in advance this was probably going to take a lot of time (chronos). But we were also assured by many friends and family, and even by our own faith, it would all happen in God’s perfect timing (kairos). We felt God’s “yes” to what we were stepping out toward in faith, and looked forward to how His kairos fit into our chronos. All along the way, loving people around us have assured us everything will work out in God’s timing.
Then we entered a world where the Lordship of Jesus seems to be very absent. Or at least, the way we want to see His Lordship. That’s been a hard thing to let go of….and continues to be. This is a road, and an experience, where hearing the phrase, “All in God’s perfect timing” ceases to be something that can bring peace. Surely none of this suffering and pain, cruelty and sadness, injustice and delay of rescue – has anything to do with God sitting on His cosmic throne saying, “Allllmost ready…..just a liiittttle more suffering and death; and then what I’m about to do will be awesome!” Nor do we believe, as some have asked us, if the delay simply means perhaps God hasn’t actually called us to adopt. We’re not alone here….sooo many families are where we are, and have experienced what we’re experiencing.
We believe in a God who, at the beginning of all things, declared it is “Good”. This “Goodness” has not been destroyed by the brokenness that humanity has introduced to His world. Because what appears to be “powerful evil”, is actually bankrupt and powerless against the already spoken “Good” of God.
That’s the Hope that came to us in the form of a baby…as we were still living lives of suffering and brokenness. His Love compelled Him to enter into our suffering. To give us a living statement of “I Love You”, that speaks louder than any wait. God became subject to the “powerful evils” of our world, and let them do their worst. They were found to be power-less. The ways of God were revealed to us in Jesus. Not the Jesus who is powerful and swoops down to bring rescue and crushes His enemies underfoot. But the Jesus who Loves, and becomes broken and poor. The Jesus who makes his dwelling place among the disenfranchised and forgotten. Who has no place to lay his head. Who was born in an animals feeding trough.
The Jesus who is spoken of in Mark 13:32, “But that day or hour (chronos words here) no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” This is a Jesus who enters into the complete suffering of humanity…even to being subject to God’s “chronos”. This is a Jesus who, in the midst of enduring the suffering of a broken world, used every breath to proclaim that this moment, these days, have been claimed as God’s “kairos”. Now is the time of God moving in our world. Now is the time of Jesus Christ being established as Lord. Now is the time for Kingdom to come already, even as we continue to wait in suffering. God’s “good” has never gone away, and is re-emerging even now.
People will continue to say it, and I know they mean well. So I will smile, and be grateful they hold us up in prayers. But “all in God’s timing” doesn’t help me to sleep well at night anymore. Thankfully, there is a phrase that brings more comfort than ever before….come what may…
“and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us“).” – Matthew 1:23
Every day we wait…He waits with us. Every tear of joy or pain, His eyes are also filled. His presence is constant and steady, and in the power of His Spirit we are joining our quietly spoken “good” to God’s…