God operates in perfect timing. As I carefully approached this subject, I was riddled with the question, “If God’s timing is perfect, why is there a delay?” Assured that I am not the only believer who has had this query, I did some digging. When I viewed the matter from a natural, logical perspective I could not wrap my mind around it, yet when I put on my faith goggles, I could see clearly. Yes, God’s timing is perfect; yes, God does delay. When God delays it may be for a myriad of reasons. We may be unprepared for what we are seeking, there could be a degree of negligence in our stewardship or the governing of our lives, or it may be that we are grossly disobedient to the voice of God. We might grumble, perhaps even becoming hostile when God does not move in our timing. Additionally, the virtues produced by waiting may benefit us more than having___________, right now!
“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” Psalm 37:7
Before I expound on a few of the reasons that God delays, let’s address how God manages to have perfect timing even if what we are seeking or were promised takes another 4,5 to 20 years to manifest. When God provided Noah with instructions to build the Ark, it was at the perfect time. When God sent the rain, it was after Noah had sufficient time to complete his assignment, gathering animals and constructing the Ark. Furthermore, when Gods sent Jesus, into the world it was the most favorable time.
“But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.” Galatians 4:4
When Jesus was raised from the dead, it was after He finished an aspect of His assignment. My faith confirms that those who were miraculously healed, although they may have waited up to 40 years before receiving their healing, were made whole at the most fitting time. They were in position for the healing, they had exhausted all other options, they were ready to trust Jesus. Could it be that we have been in waiting for so long because we tell ourselves that we are waiting on God to move, nevertheless besieged with doubt, whilst God is waiting on us to forsake our logic and trust Him completely?
“Just then a woman who had been suffering from chronic bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel of his garment,” Matthew 9:20
It is not our earthly sense of urgency that moves God, but our faith. “And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God.” 2 Chronicles 33:13 God’s timing is perfect because as He waits for us to get to the point it takes to receive the miraculous, godly character is being built in us, a “Hallelujah anyhow” praise is being established, the observation of the limitation of our resources is acknowledged- His timing is perfect. In God’s loving kindness, He sustains us while we learn to trust Him-His timing is perfect. There are some of us that may never receive what we are believing God for; however, He preserves, strengthens, and sustains us. Jesus did not heal every sick person when He walked the earth. Just as God did not stop Jesus from suffering on the cross. Most believers do not want to hear and choose not to accept that our suffering produces godly character. Can we trust God when we do not get promoted? Can we trust God to keep us when our bodies are under attack from chronic debilitating illnesses? How about when we still find ourselves single, can we serve Him? Can we continue to obey God without two nickels to rub together? I challenge each of us to observe what is revealed about our walk with Christ as delay, and the possible accompaniment of prolonged suffering becomes our persistent position.
“Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:31
I do not protest to be a theologian of any sorts. God has revealed these truths to me about His character through my own prolonged sufferings, disappointments, challenges, and delays, as well as various sermons, and bible studies. Let’s address a few of the causes for delays. Hypothetically, let’s say that I asked God for a new job, but I have horrible work ethics, do not appreciate the job that I have, or have the misconception that a new job, with increased income, somehow increases my value, God may opt to decline the provision of that opportunity for me. Conversely, let’s say that I ask God for a new job, and if He does not give it to me within the next 30 days, I am going to stop serving Him, God may choose to delay the blessing as He knows my unfaithful heart. Theoretically, let’s say that I ask God for a new job, but my current position is maturing me spiritually, challenging my faith, and ultimately driving me to the feet of Jesus. Evidence suggests that God will often leave us in uncomfortable situations to produce His character in us and even show us how strong we are in Him.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Perhaps, I am unprepared for the position in a natural or spiritual sense. If God knows that this job is not His will for me, thus not in my best interest, He probably would not open that door for me. How about if God tells me that the job is not for me at this time and I force my way into the position anyhow. God gives us free will. We can choose life or death, freedom or slavery, instant or delayed gratification. Jehovah Shalom knows that this hypothetical new position has the potentiality to have an adverse reaction in my life, which is why He said not right now, yet my impatience and stubbornness contradicts my faith. Faith says, “Daddy, this is tough, but you know what is best. I trust you. I would like______, but thy will be done!” This was Jesus’ prayer in a nutshell in the garden of Gethsemane, the night prior to His crucifixion.
“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Luke 22:42
Our purposes are poisoned when we view God’s delay as a “time out”, or punishment, forgetting the loving and tender nature of our Lord. If we have wandered out of God’s will in ministry, in careers, in relationships, or in life in general, there is hope for us. We still have a purpose, God sustained the Israelites for 40 years in the Wilderness. Although, they did not see the Promised Land they were sustained. I believe it is our desire to not only be set free from our various Egypt’s but to receive the promise of God manifested in our purpose. The simple antidote to purpose poisoning caused by delay is faith.
“I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.” Jeremiah 24:7
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