“He looked around at everything and … went out to Bethany.” (Mark 11:11)

Picture the scene. Jesus, just arrived at the Temple, is confronted with a spectacle that makes him boil with anger. Right there in its outer court, a place intended for prayer, merchants and money changers are doing a brisk business. And what about the religious authorities who should be keeping the Temple holy? They’re lining their pockets with the revenues. You can imagine Jesus’ dis­ciples poking each other in the ribs, expecting their master to explode. Instead, Jesus does … nothing. He puts off the “cleansing of the Tem­ple” until tomorrow.

Why did Jesus hit the pause but­ton instead of charging in? It wasn’t as though he needed a night to work up the courage or decide what to do! Perhaps there were practical reasons. But more than likely, he knew it wasn’t the right moment. Jesus had a sense of timing—his Father’s timing.

As we face different situations, that’s what we need, too. What if you notice that a friend is developing a drinking problem? What’s the right moment to speak up? Immediately, or after reflecting and learning more? It could be either. Bring your ques­tions to the Lord!

Or what if a spouse or roommate has a tendency to complain and get lost in self-pity? You want to offer correction at just the right moment, without saying either too little or more than they can bear. Seek guid­ance from the Holy Spirit!

It’s the same thing if, on the posi­tive side, a child or grandchild shows new interest in praying and drawing closer to God. Get your wisdom and sense of timing from the Spirit! He will help you speak the words your loved ones need to hear—when they need to hear them.

So what will it be today? Seize the moment, or look before you leap? Ask the Spirit! From one situation to another, his still, small voice will help you make the choice.

“Lord, help me develop the sense of divine timing I need to be an effective instrument of your love. Speak, Lord, I’m listening!”

1 Peter 4:7-13; Psalm 96:10-13