When Jesus suggested going back to Judea, the disciples were terrified. The Jews had tried to stone Him there only recently, and now He was talking about a return visit. In answer to the disciples’ apprehension, Jesus said, “ Are there not twelve hours in the day?” (John 11:9).
At first glance, the question seems to be completely disconnected from the conversation. But what the Savior was saying was this! The working day is made up of twelve hours. When a person is yielded to God, every day has its appointed program. Nothing can thwart the accomplishing of that program. So even if Jesus went back to Jerusalem, and even if the Jews tried to kill Him again, they could not succeed. His work was not finished. His hour had not yet come. For every child of God it is true that he is “immortal till his work is done.” This should impart great peace and poise to our lives. If we are living in the will of God, and if we follow reasonable rules of health and safety, we will never die a moment ahead of time. Nothing can come to us apart from that which His divine purpose and will has foreordained.
Many Christians worry themselves sick over the food they eat, the water they drink and the air they breathe. In our pollution-conscious society there is always something to suggest that death is knocking at the door. But this anxiety is unnecessary. “Are there not twelve hours in the day?” Hasn’t God placed a hedge around the believer which the devil is powerless to penetrate? If we believe this, it will save us from a lot of second-guessing. We will not say, “If the ambulance had only arrived sooner” or “If the doctor had only detected the growth four weeks earlier” or “If my husband had only taken a different airline.” Our lives are planned by infinite wisdom and in infinite power. The Almighty has a perfect timetable for each of us, and His trains run on perfect schedule.