One Truth I Learned from The Time Lady


Her real name was Edna, but my sisters, brother, and I definitely referred to her as “the time lady.” This was no random nickname; she earned it honestly.

We met Edna the very first week our family began holding services at a local nursing home on Tuesday evenings. We were still working to learn and remember names a few weeks later when “the time lady” accosted us with an unforgettable conversation.

It just so happened to be the Tuesday after the spring time change. As we entered the large dining room where we held the service, we began greeting the folks who were gathered.

Edna was positioned close to the entrance at a chair near the wall. She had straight white hair and, as usual, wore a large pair of sunglasses. My dad greeted her cheerfully, “Well, hello there, how are you this evening?”

Edna didn’t waste time on small talk—not at a time like this. She got right to business: “What do you think our Heavenly Father thinks about them changing the time like this?” Her eyes narrowed and she leaned forward as she spoke.

Truth be told, none of us had given it much thought at all—at least not on the level Edna was proposing. And so my dad answered quite honestly, if discreetly at the same time: “Oh, I don’t really know that…”

Edna sat bolt upright and pointed her finger right in his face. “You do too know!”

Her zeal took him off guard. “Well, I don’t think He minds so much if…”

“Oh, yes He does! He made the time, and He doesn’t want us going around and messing with it.” She relaxed a little as my dad nodded. (What else could he do?) “See, look at my watch. I’m not going to be changing the time.”

Her watch was indeed an hour behind. She gave a furious look at the large clock on the wall and continued, “Our Heavenly Father doesn’t like them just changing it all the time.”

Daylight savings time changes—both in the spring and fall—put Edna in her element. It was her prime—as well as her most energetic—moments of the year.

Every spring and every fall, “the time lady” would repeat her question—“What do you think our Heavenly Father thinks about them changing the time like this?” And whether you agreed with her or demurred to answer, she followed her question with a zealous lecture about what she believed our Heavenly Father really did think about time change.

For six years we held Tuesday evening services at that nursing home. And twice each year we counted on Edna to bring up the time question. I’m afraid that we even began to look forward to the one-sided discussions.

Quite frankly (and I speak more freely now as Edna is in Heaven), I’m not prone to think our Heavenly Father actually is against daylight savings time. Even so, Edna did have one thing right—we can’t go messing with the time. More accurately, we can’t go messing with His timing.

We change our clocks for summer convenience, but we can’t so easily change God’s timetable.

It’s a good thing, too. Let’s say we could adjust God’s timing with the same ease with which I turned my clock ahead tonight. What might we miss? What might we mess up?

What if Abraham and Sarah could have rushed the fulfillment of God’s promised son? They would have avoided years of waiting…but they would have missed a miracle.

What if Joseph could have skipped his years as a slave in Egypt…or even just the two years in prison when his “friend” forgot him? He would have saved himself a great deal of heartache…but he would have missed the fulfillment of his dreams.

What if David could have moved directly from his shepherd’s field to the throne? He would have missed years of torturous running and fearing for his life…but he would have missed an intimacy with God developed only in the wilderness. (And you and I would have missed some of the most poignant Psalms.)

What if you could rush past the difficulty, waiting, or pain you are experiencing now? You might miss the greatest blessing of your life.

When our Heavenly Father who created time says “wait,” trust Him. Don’t go trying to mess with His timing. He knows what He is doing.

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.—Psalm 27:14

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time…—Ecclesiastes 3:11