In God’s Perfect Time
With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
Today's passage reveals that God has "made known to us the mystery of his will." He did this willingly, with delight. This mystery is focused in Christ, just like the rest of God's saving work. Moreover, we're told that God's mystery is "to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment" (1:10).
This translation of the first part of verse 10 could be translated more literally, "as a plan for the fullness of the times." The Greek word for "plan" is oikonomia, from which we get our word "economy." Oikonomia is a combination of the Greek words oikos (house) and nomos (law). It was used in Greek for the management of a home or even the state. Thus, Paul's point in Ephesians 1 is that God exercised his supreme authority over reality, even over time itself, to fulfill his plan at just the right moment. The saving, restoring work of Christ didn't happen by accident, but according to God's sovereign plan.
Thus, we are reminded today of God's superintendence over all things, even time. God works all things together for good in the right time. Of course, God's timing is not necessarily our own. Sometimes God seems inexcusably slow. Sometimes God surprises us with the swiftness of his grace. Yet, no matter how we might feel about God's timing, it is always the best.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Have there been occasions in your daily work or personal life when you have questioned God's timing? In retrospect, have you been able to see the wisdom of God's timing?
PRAYER: All-wise, all-powerful God, you order all things. You are sovereign even over time itself. Thus, you sent Christ at just the right time to fulfill your gracious purposes for creation. Thank you for your wisdom and grace.
As you know, Lord, sometimes I struggle with your timing... at work, at home, in my community. Often, you seem to move so slowly. I can easily become frustrated, even doubting you. Help me to be reassured that you work all things together for good in your time and in your way. Help me to trust you more, to seek you more, and to live each day in the fullness of your time for me. Amen.