IT NEVER FAILS. I am running late on my way to pick one of kids, and I am simultaneously attempting to GPS the directions to their friend’s house. Someone is texting me, Chloe is asking me to look at her newly constructed second-grade art project, and it feels like a bug is crawling on my left foot. I am officially losing it, and to top it all off, A SLOW DRIVER PULLS IN FRONT OF ME doing 25 miles an hour (the actual speed limit, mind you), and it slows me down even more. Me being sure that this “older, more mature” driver obviously has no place to go because of his annoying observance of the legal speed limit, infuriates me more until a still small voice says, “Enjoy the moment.” Excuse me? Enjoy the moment? Ok. So, I am thinking- that is not what the Voice meant to say to me- the taxi-mom-chauffeur-get lost even with a GPS type of girl, but oddly enough, I do just that. I stop. I breathe. I take in the scenery, and my world changes in that moment because I realize that the whirlwind called my life- full of obligations, titles and duties to be done- has caused me to lose sight of the beauty right in front of my eyes every day. I could not remember the last time that I had taken a drive just to take a drive and soak up all of God’s handiwork in nature. I had encouraged others to do it. I believed in it, but I had not done it myself. Beauty came from that delay.
It is easy to get frustrated when things do not happen exactly the way we planned it in our heads or on our calendars at exactly the time we think it should happen. The “wait” for anything prolonged- the marriage proposal that is seemingly taking years to happen, the promotion on the job that we have dedicated hours of service to, the healing that we are hoping for in our bodies and the answers to petitions that we have passionately prayed about for years- can cause a barrage of disappointment, stress and in some cases depression. We may begin to feel that it is futile to keep fighting, pursuing, asking, praying, waiting and wishing when that will only lead to further disappointment because of delay. We begin to doubt ourselves, our worth and our purpose simply because things are not going the way we think they should go. We go into overdrive trying to make things happen on our schedule. Then the onslaught of “why’s” fill our minds to the point where we finally lose hope that anything great is ever going to happen in our lives.
Have you ever read any of the stories from people who, if they had not been “delayed” the morning of the September 11th attacks in New York, would have been another victim in the terrorists acts? The delay saved their lives. Have you ever narrowly escaped a car collision only to realize that if you had not been stopped by the funeral procession in front of you that you may have been in a life-threatening accident? The delay saved you some heartache. Have you ever desired something so badly but when you later saw how getting “your way” would have negatively affected you, you were grateful that you did not get what you initially wanted? The delay saved your peace of mind.
Here is my point: there is a choice that we need to make at the point where it seems that life is not granting us the things or the people that we so earnestly desire- get frustrated or get focused. Delay is often a sign that there is something else that needs to be addressed, accomplished or completed before we actually get what we want. It is a sign that we may need to refocus, or possibly focus for the first time, on what really matters. Instead of getting angry, doubtful or disgusted about having to “wait”, we must train ourselves to ask:
“What is the blessing that will come from this delay?”
“What should I be doing or learning while I wait?”
“Am I REALLY ready for what I asked for? If not, how do I get ready?”
“Am I going in the right direction? Am I doing this the right way?”
“Are my motives for wanting this correct?”
Delay is a time for us to dig! We need to find out what it is that we could possibly be missing while we are waiting for the manifestation of what we desire. Frustration will cause you to lose focus. Positive expectation will help you to maintain the attitude that God’s timing is ALWAYS the right timing!
Delay does not mean denial. Delay does not mean disaster. Delay is God’s way of making sure that we are indeed ready to receive everything that we ask for and that we focus on what is most important at the time- making sure that we submit to His timing and we are learning the right lessons along the way to shape us into the people we were meant to be.