Nobody enjoys standing in line, warming food in the microwave, or taking public transportation when there are delays. Minimising delays is one of the objectives of any invention (product or service). People dislike having to wait. With all of its innovations (cars, planes, smartphones, etc.), our world is getting faster and faster. One fruit of the Spirit called “Patience” has less and less room to be displayed.
Knowing what to do when there is a delay or having to wait when things do not happen as anticipated is one of the things that this generation and those before us have struggled with. Every time someone has an expectation, they immediately establish a deadline for it (which is not a bad thing), and if they do not receive what they had hoped for by the deadline, they become frustrated. In this new season, God wants to free us from the irritation of waiting and delays; He wants to manage time for us.
God doesn’t want us to be ruled by time because He lives outside of it – to govern time, one must also be outside of it. It’s important to know that God doesn’t cause delays, but He sometimes allows it so that it serves a purpose.
No obstacle or anything else can stop Him from doing as He pleases, but He also gave us free will, which gives us a choice to go against His plan over our lives. Many people find it difficult to accept that sometimes God’s plan calls for a waiting period. Thus, delays do not come from Him, but He can make us wait. Hence, the authors of delays can be us when we go against God’s plan or the devil when he finds a loophole in our lives (especially in our character).
To delay is to put something off or postpone it or to cause something to take longer or to be late. It is also the time between when something was supposed to happen and when it eventually happened. When our mistakes cause delay, God’s providence comes into play so they do not swallow us up. There is a provision of grace and mercy. But the devil also comes when we have made a mistake or when things don’t turn out the way we expected to push us to start doubting and questioning God.
And as established earlier, God does not delay but makes us wait. When waiting, we should not think about what we miss out on during that period. God will renew and restore every lost thing. The Bible says those that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength [Isaiah 40:31]. So, as we wait, we should continue ministering to people going through the same thing we are going through. God can use us from our lowest of lows, and it is then when His might is displayed because no credit can be ascribed to man’s weakness. Like Gideon, God kept telling him to reduce the number of soldiers in his army so it would be known that it was not the strength of the army but God’s power. God wants to magnify His strength through our weakness.
On the other hand, the devil wants us to be self-occupied with our problems. The devil wants to turn our time of delay or waiting period into a time of bitterness, complaints, and doubts. We should not let our issues isolate and prohibit us from serving God. A man of faith is a man of joy! Our joy doesn’t depend on what we have or what we don’t, but it depends on the One that masters time. At times God will challenge us to minister to someone else who’s going through the same thing as us to give us what you’re praying for – Job prayed for his friends when he was going through trials, and God restored him [see Job 42:10].
Although the waiting period is not the most glorious or enjoyable, God makes us wait because He loves us. Jesus loved Lazarus and stayed longer [see John 11:5-6]; therefore, waiting is not a punishment from God but an experience that will birth something great within us. When God makes us wait, it may feel like we are being delayed because we do not have the bigger picture that God has, but there are three points to remember when it comes to waiting on God. First is that you grow in your spiritual intelligence. John 11:37 “But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”” So, the waiting that feels like a delay gives us a greater revelation of God, better than anyone else, and it is much more personal.
God is more interested in us knowing Him than in us getting what we are after. It also shapes our character and perception to be how God wants us to be. We may not be able to change what’s happening around us, but we can change our attitude [see Hebrews 10:35-36].
The second thing birthed from waiting is proximity and intimacy with God. John 1:17 “For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.” When He makes us wait, He wants us to shift our focus from wanting things to wanting Him. He wants us to have proximity and intimacy with Him. Otherwise, we will receive the gift without knowing the giver. Cultivate a relationship because, from it, we will be provided for all the time. We should long for a relationship with Him more than just pursuing answers to our prayers. When there’s a delay, you will move from crying out of desperation to worshipping God! The lady in Matthew 15:23 did not just receive an answered request, but she encountered Him.
Third, God wants to make us a public reference for His glory. There are some blessings whose manifestations only benefit us, but others whose manifestations will benefit the people around us and us. When people see the wonders of God in our lives, they begin turning to Him [see John 11:45].
His timing is the best, and although it might inconvenience our timeline, the end will have much joy and glory, and we will be able to steward what we have been waiting for because the waiting sharpened us.