On several occasions my dad and I have discussed God's plan and His 'delays'. I think my dad mentioned these 'delays' after reading it somewhere and he chuckled at God's timing and answers to our prayers being referred to as 'delays'. It somehow makes waiting on the Lord and only experiencing a delay so much more bearable than considering that your prayer isn't being answered at all.
When I picked up my copy of One Bread, One Body yesterday and read the daily meditation, it referred to Abram and Joshua and how they had both experienced delays. It mentioned how sometimes delays are the result of God's kindness and other times it's for the benefit of others, not us.
Delays are tough. We become impatient and less than understanding to our sovereign God who has already granted us so much. How often have I seen His delays as a 'no' to my prayer, rather than a 'not yet'? Too often, I'm afraid. How restless and weary I've become with fulfilling my own desires in MY timing, rather than embracing the delay as a way to benefit someone else or to be thankful for God's kindness.
Isn't it easy though to approach the delays God sends in the same manner we greet other delays? A delayed flight, a delayed friend for a lunch date, a delay while we wait in line. We become angry and misunderstanding VERY QUICKLY. I see them all as inconveniences for me to handle in the midst of a very busy life. I just don't have time for it.
I think I need to remember to treat delays from God a bit differently than I may have in the past. They are not stumbling blocks on my journey, but rather stepping stones and times for growth spiritually. My deepest desires and prayers may well be a part of God's bigger plan, but they may need to be delayed just a bit in order to arrive just in time. His time.