God may not answer our prayers according to our clock. And too often we despair when we needn’t— because we don’t understand. Sometimes, by our standards, he seems to be late. We may wonder if he is coming at all. But this little book shows us that God is always right on time—because his is kairos timing in our life’s experiences and the situations in which we find ourselves.
The Rev. Canon Michael Stewart (an Anglican priest in British Columbia) compares and contrasts God’s kairos with our clock and calendar sense of time. He shows us that learning at least something of God’s timing is a foundational experience—like learning to tie our shoes or use a fork and knife, and that it is a necessary part of maturing in Christ.
The Greek word kairos is used 86 times in the New Testament to denote a time appointed for God’s purpose, or a time when God acts. Kairos always reveals God at work, as for example in “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15) Or, in another example, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6)
In simplest terms kairos means God’s perfect timing without regard to measurable time, such as hours, days or longer periods. Jesus explained it this way to his brothers, who didn’t believe in him, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here.” (John 7:6) Human beings live in measurable time—specific amounts of time (for which the Greek word is chronos). This can lead to some real dilemmas when we try to understand how God works in the circumstances of our lives.
God is both within and without time, timeless as well as timely. That’s what this little book is all about: learning something about God timing.