A few days ago, we were set to fly to the west coast to visit our daughter. Knowing we would return after this trip very late at night, we decided to leave our car in an airport hotel parking lot. Our plan was to spend the night at the hotel on our way out and on our return. However, storms in Dallas, our layover city, changed everything. We couldn’t head out until about 24 hours later. We returned home and went out the next day. As we experienced this delay and the blessings we encountered because of it, I was reminded how often waiting and delays do contain or precede blessings from God. What we need, in those moments, is a good attitude and the ability to wait on the Lord.
Trust in God is the Best Antidote to Delay
As I was having these thoughts of my own about waiting on the Lord and the interruptions and delays we experience in life, I read a wonderful article by Alane Haynes on the Elijah List website. Her article is called, “God says: Move Forward Into the Course I Chart.”
The point of this very encouraging word by Alane is that sometimes, often, we get delayed or interrupted. As a result, we can feel that we’re being left behind or that we’re missing out on our calling or purpose. She wrote that it is often this very delay that sets us up for the next marvelous things that are coming. The right heart attitude is always to wait expectantly for the Lord to bring meaning to the delays of our lives. These are her words,
“What seems like an interruption, inconvenience, a delay, a hindrance, even a loss, may actually be the setup for God to bring you into your next assignment.”
She then proceeded to use the story of Saul from 1 Samuel 9 and 10 in the Bible. Saul set out to find his father’s lost donkeys. Chasing after very elusive donkeys might have been a real “side trip” for the man who eventually would be king of Israel. But, it was this search that brought Saul to the prophet Samuel. Samuel, then, anointed him as king of Israel. The difficult, time-consuming interruption brought Saul to his destined purpose.
What Delays Have You Encountered?
What has stood in your way or gotten you off track in this season? Has something made you think you are missing the mark, losing too much time?
Additionally, Alane went on to say this about interruptions in current times and what they can really mean:
“Many have been faithfully serving their families during this time of lockdowns and closures. Others have experienced financial problems and had to take on other jobs. Both [of these] seemed to conflict with “ministry.” You may be feeling the sharp disappointment of what seems delayed or even denied. Lift up your eyes and see – the Lord has been using you all along. He has seen your willingness and your heart’s desire for Him in the midst of it all, and the tables are turning.”
So What Does It Mean to Wait on God?
We hear many passages about waiting on the Lord in scripture. Here’s one:
“But those who wait upon the LORD will renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 BSB
And, here’s another:
“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14 NIV
What are these words telling us to do?
A simple definition of “wait on the Lord” or “wait upon the Lord” is to “wait, look for, hope, expect” from the Bible Study Tools website. You are waiting expectantly if you know God’s character and that He works behind the scenes and comes through.
The way you come to this understanding of God’s goodness and His help is through Bible study and meditation, through prayer, worship, and being in community with other believers. This “pumps up” your really leaning on God and your constant expectation that He will “make a way.”
Knowing God and having this heart about Him, makes you interpret the troubles and interruptions of life differently. You see them as containing or hiding opportunities and blessings that will come next.
What Happened in Our Flight’s Delays
Here’s more of my story:
We’ve just recently moved. The closing on our old home was about to occur, but would not have occurred until we had already left town. We had not signed the papers yet.
As we prepared to leave, our concern was high about the situation. How would we get the papers signed? Would they have to “overnight” the papers to us? Where would we find a notary to observe our signing and stamp the papers? Nevertheless, we rested in God.
Delays and Interruptions Often Hold Blessings
As our flight plans fell through we talked with our real estate agent. She said, “Stop by my office on your way home. We’ll get everything signed here and notarized. It’s ready now.” This was blessing #1 from our delay. Our papers got signed in person. We could leave the next day with no worries about it.
Blessing #2 is that two packages were on the doorstep as we returned home to wait for the flight out the next day. One of them was an anniversary present with food in it for my husband. This had arrived two days late. But, now my husband could enjoy it – and it was safely removed from the front porch.
And there is yet another delay that contained a blessing during this time. I rushed to record a podcast interview just before we left for the airport only to discover later that the audio tape disappeared from the server. That was a delay. I will have to do it again! But, meanwhile, there was a wonderful jewel in the interview. Blessing #3 is that the guest said something about a prayer resource that will be tremendously helpful to me and countless others as I share about it.
Teach Yourself to Wait Expectantly on God
You see, if we can get “God glasses” on and not get (as the old saying goes) “freaked out” when we encounter delays and troubles, we can begin to see how God is moving or might move. We need to learn to say, “This is difficult but to what might it lead? I choose to trust my mighty God!
Once again, what can you do when trouble, delays, or interruptions strike your life?
- Read and meditate on scriptures about God’s goodness, help, and purposes.
- Be a blessings counter. Practice gratitude over the smallest of things.
- Journal your prayers, answered prayers, and blessings.
I mentioned a prayer resource above. My guest talked about using 5 year prayer journals where you write down a one sentence prayer request or a scripture in a small box in this journal. There are spaces to write such things for the next five years. That way you can go back and see what God does in your life over those five years in answer to those prayers. Click the link in this paragraph and it will take you to one such journal on Amazon.
One Last Story about Waiting on the Lord
My small group from our church is in contact with a missionary couple in Israel.
As you can imagine, at this point, in May 2021, they are in the midst of a great difficulty and delay. No sooner had they been able to restart gathering the people they care for in worship services after a year of isolation, then bombing between Hamas and Israel began. As you can imagine, it is terrifying to have those rockets coming in so heavily.
But, in this delay and difficulty, they are meeting with many other pastors and leaders to give each other support, share resources, and to pray. Our friends say these meetings involve many different groups of people who speak different languages. But, the unity and bonding between these people in great danger is a great blessing. They choose to believe God is good and there will be great benefits that will come out of this time.
I pray you will be blessed to see God as your wonderful Way Maker too.
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