When I used to travel a lot for work, one of the worse things was walking into the airport and seeing the word “Delayed” next to my flight number. The experienced traveler knows that even a short delay can cause a myriad of problems, and that the likelihood that a short delay will turn into a long one is high. So you learn how to manage these situations. You figure out who to talk to in order to get accurate information. You start calling the airlines while standing in the line to get booked on another flight, willing to take whatever approach will get you talking to a human being the fastest. You consider what other cities you might be able to fly into and still get to your destination on time. When you see the word “delayed” – you take matters into your own hands in order to get what you want.
Sometimes, I do the same with God. I think that He has been delayed in answering my prayers, providing me help, or rescuing me from a storm. I act as if I don’t know that He will provide just what I need at the time that I need it (Luke 12:22-31). I respond as if He doesn’t desire to give me good things (Matt. 7:11), but as if He wants me to “figure it out” the best that I can. I begin to take matters into my own hands – worrying about the future, planning contingencies, and plotting how I am going to make it where I want to be.
But God is never delayed. He always “arrives” on time. So if my prayer seems to be unanswered, if help eludes me, and if the storm rages on, it must be because the time has not yet come for that trial to pass. But that doesn’t mean I wallow in despair. Because I know that my God will save me. I know that He does desire to provide me good things, and that He is working for my good (Romans 8:28). From my perspective, He may appeared to be delayed but I know He is not. I can be joyfully confident in knowing that in His time, He will provide relief. And that His timing is perfect, every time.