It is interesting to me that the Author of Time is never punctual… at least, not by my clock. The problem is not with God’s timing, the problem is that I insist that He act on my schedule. God commands us not to be anxious about anything and to pray about everything with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6). To what end? That He might answer when I please? No. The promise is that He will grant us peace that passes all understanding that will guard our hearts and minds, whether the answer is quick or delayed.
We should not confuse His delay with lack of concern or, a “no.”
The salvation of a friend is the best personal example that I have for this. More than I have ever prayed for anyone, I prayed for his salvation. I prayed and pleaded with God to save him… to give sight to his blinded eyes… to give freedom to his sin dominated and hell bound heart… to grant that he could become a worshiper of the Lamb of God. Yet day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year… nothing happened.
I did not understand. The Lord put this friend in my life. I had prayed for him. Many others were praying consistently for him. Yet nothing. God would tell me “not to grow weary in doing good…” Yet I was growing weary. More than one time during these years I would lift my agonized heart to God and declare my friend reprobate… utterly hopeless. The Lord would never agree with me… He said again: “do not grow weary in doing good for in due season you will reap, if you do not faint.” Again, repentant, I would pray and remind the Lord that His blood could make my friend new, but even if He chose not to, I would continue to worship Him.
Nearly 7 years after the first prayer, God moved. Long story short… our friend was born again. Wow, I had not offered any different prayers. I had not changed my petition. Others had continued to pray just as they had begun 7 years prior… and finally, the Lord shows up.
Time is the measure of change. God does not change. The Lord is not bound by time. What is 7 years compared with eternity? Nothing. One of the fruits of God’s Spirit is patience. I am so unlike Him in this regard. I am thankful that He is patiently at work in me, making me more like Himself.
Are you praying about something or someone specific?
Don’t be discouraged by His delay. He is not subject to time and He does not operate on your schedule. He has commanded us to pray and instructed us to be patient. He knew Lazarus was going to die, yet He delayed his coming for purposes that are beyond us.
The Lord always has purpose in His delays. He seldom works on our schedule, and if He does, it’s only because our schedule happend to be in sync with His schedule.
When He finally and suddenly shows up though, hold on. He is glorious and He does exceedingly above all that we ask or think!! I’m reminded of a song…
The King of Glory Standeth by Charitie Bancroft
The King of Glory standeth beside the heart of sin;
His mighty voice commandeth the raging waves within;
The floods of deepest anguish roll backward at His will,
As o’er the storm ariseth His mandate, “Peace, be still.”
At times, with sudden glory, He speaks, and all is done;
Without one stroke of battle the victory is won,
While we, with joy beholding, can scarce believe it true
That e’en our kingly Jesus can form such hearts anew.
O Christ, Thy love is mighty; long suffering is Thy grace;
And glorious is the splendor that beameth from Thy face.
Our hearts upleap in gladness when we behold that love,
As we go singing onward, to dwell with Thee above.
One thing is for sure… “as for God, His way is perfect.” He is never late.