God has never been one minute late. He is always on time, every time.
We see this wisdom and character of God as an underlying theme in Genesis.
Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years for Isaac.
Jacob labored 14 years for his two wives, Leah and Rachel.
Joseph waited 20 years before he could reconcile with his brothers.
And Isaac and Rebekah waited 20 years without any children.
If Rebekah were to remain barren, who would carry on the promise of Abraham’s seed becoming as the dust of the earth or the stars of the heavens? How could Abraham’s seed be a blessing to the whole earth if there were no seed to follow? (Genesis 12:1-3; 13:16; 15:5; 17:6)
Psalms 31:15 reminds us, “My times are in thy hand:” Our calendar is not like God’s calendar. These Divine Delays are all a part of God’s plan to do a work that we cannot do on our own. But that’s easy to say and hard to live through.
Delays usually require patience and often induce headaches along the way. Frustration follows us as we conclude that God is not working things out like we think He should.
Can He even help?
Does He even care?
Where is He now?
Doubts creep into the gateways of our mind and fear begins to unsettle us. But just because there is a delay along the way, doesn’t mean it is a denial.
Christ had many “delays” in His ministry but never once missed a divine appointment. In Mark 5 we see Christ on His way to heal Jairus’s daughter, but He is stopped by another with a need.
“And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.”
If I were Jarius, I’d be freaking out right now! Oh come on, Jesus!—my daughter is dying! There is no time to lose!
No doubt Jairus could have thought in his mind that his daughter was dead because of this unforseen delay. But then cue the sobering words of Christ in verse 36,
“Be not afraid, only believe.”
And with power in his voice came the command to the damsel, “Talithacumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked…and they were astonished with a great astonishment.”
God can see the end before the beginning. His plan did not seem to fit in Isaac’s or Jairus’s timelines, but God proved Himself to be a keeper of His promises.
Detours are not fun, and they can certainly be confusing to say the least; but may I challenge you as Christ challenged Jairus:
“Be not afraid…”
You cannot let fear control you in times of waiting. It will destroy your mind and confuse those whom God has placed under you. Our knee-jerk reaction to an inconvenience is usually fear that we will not succeed or be on time. We rush about trying to “fix it” instead of trusting the One Who has led us there.
Do you remember what Christ told His disciples in the midst of the storm? “Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid,” (Mark 6:50). The disciples no doubt thought that the storm would be a huge delay or even the means of their death, but Christ commanded them to go to the other side because there was something He wanted to show them about himself.