Friday, 3 August 2007

God's Delay

Habakkuk 1:12–2:3

I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me. —Habakkuk 2:1

Waiting is hard for me. I want answers now. Postponements perplex me; deferrals daunt me. I'm baffled by God's delays, wondering why and when. "How long, O Lord?"

The prophet Habakkuk wanted answers as well, but God chose to take His time. "I will stand my watch . . . to see what [God] will say to me," Habakkuk wrote (2:1). "The vision is yet for an appointed time," God replied. "Wait for it; because it will surely come" ( v.3).

Faith never gives up. It knows that despite appearances, all is well. It can wait without signs or significant indications that God is at work, because it is sure of Him. "Each delay is perfectly fine, for we are within the safe hands of God," said Madame Guyon (1648–1717).

We too must learn to view each delay as if it were "perfectly fine." Postponements are reasons to pray rather than grow anxious, impatient, and annoyed. They're opportunities for God to build those imperishable but hard-to-acquire qualities of humility, patience, serenity, and strength. God never says, "Wait awhile," unless He is planning to do something in our situation—or in us. He waits to be gracious.

So take heart! If God's answer tarries, "Wait for it; because it will surely come." David H. Roper

Soon shall the morning gild
The dark horizon rim,
Thy heart's desire shall be fulfilled—
"Wait patiently for Him." —Havergal

God stretches our patience to enlarge our soul.

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