Sunday, November 19, 2017

In His Time -- Diane Ball

If she was wearing a watch, that might have been a routine accessory she reconsidered after the experience she and her family had one summer day in 1975. Diane Ball and the other five members of the family probably are reminded, every time they hear or sing “In His Time”, what three small words really meant the day they popped into her anxious spirit on a California road.  What does a person do when two conflicting events have him or her between a vise, and the tick-tock counts down, or alternately has a swinging pendulum to underscore the march of time? Would it surprise me or you if another person said both events could be accommodated? ‘It’ll work out’, or ‘If He intends for you to accomplish both objectives, just sit back and see how He does it’. See if you think Diane might have those words on her lips now, after what she experienced as a 34-year old.

It was vacation day number one in the Ball family, and Diane had everyone on a tight schedule. The launch of the Ball spouses, Jay and Diane, and their four children in their vehicle for a vacation was upon them. But, not everything nor everyone is always controllable, as Diane was reminded that day. Jay had a maintenance emergency at the conference center where he and his wife both worked, delaying their departure by over an hour. Normally, that might have been a minor irritant, except that Diane had a speaking engagement over 90 minutes away, and just half of that time to get there – an impossible circumstance. Or, so she thought. As the trip finally began, a fuming Diane asked God for serenity, as she knew no other solution to resolve what her insides were telling her. Exceptionally, this day, another inside inhabitant within Diane gave her some words – the very words of “In His Time”. Little did Diane suspect that these words would be used that very afternoon, and to a group whose plans had luckily – or providentially? – been delayed, coincident with the delay in the Balls’ departure. Diane didn’t know her words would ring so true the very day she penned them. She shared them with the crowd to whom she spoke, a spontaneous decision she must have felt by that time was also in His control. One wonders how the rest of the Ball vacation proceeded that summer!    

As holiday season is upon us here, is it a time crunch for you to accomplish everything in your planner? Plan that trip, pack that luggage, shop for those gifts, and try to work in a little relaxation! Can one really plan for a tranquil moment? Diane must have been asking herself that plenty, especially with a busy husband and four kids. She may have thought her whole life was too densely packed, if you examine her words closely. She says she wanted to see His way ‘every day’, not just during a holiday, or a vacation. She ached for Him to show her the beauty of His time year-round. Or, even life-round. Think He’s got your time planned out for you?   

The sources for this song story are the books “Our God Reigns: The Stories behind Your Favorite Praise and Worship Songs”, by Phil Christensen and Shari MacDonald, Kregel Publications, 2000, and “The Complete Book of Hymns – Inspiring Stories About 600 Hymns and Praise Songs”, by William J. and Ardythe Petersen, 2006, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..

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