How do you handle the delays between God’s promises and their fulfillment?
How do you cope when you’re enjoying a sweet fellowship with the Lord and then heaven suddenly goes silent, and no matter what you do, you can’t break through to the other side?
These moments of divine delay reveal who we are on the inside. They show us the authenticity of our faith, and they expose the true benchmarks of our character.
They break us…or they make us. And just as our favorite Bible heroes taught us, how a person handles their holding patterns determines whether or not they’ll land in safety.
- Abraham was delayed in barrenness.
- Moses was delayed in the wilderness (twice).
- David was delayed in the cave.
And yet their divine delays teach us a powerful truth about God: He knows the way through the wilderness, and He knows how to get people to their destinations.
You’ve been delayed in your story too, and you might need to remember today that God has not lost sight of you. He doesn’t need a compass or a GPS to find you. He has His eye on you, and He is still determined to bring you to all of your appointed ends.
Remember what the Lord told the prophet Habakkuk when he was spiraling in a holding pattern. His words will help you survive your divine delays too. God said, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” (Habakkuk 2:2-3 NKJV)
- having or showing clear ideas about what should happen or be done in the future
- having or showing a powerful imagination
- of or relating to something that is seen or imagined in a dream or vision
Every person possesses visionary gifts, and is able to dream about a brighter future. However, some people are specifically gifted of God with unusual visionary skills and talents.
Here are several visionary statements to help us gauge our visionary aptitude:
- While some say, “No one understands” the visionary says, “I am surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, and I am not alone.”
- While some see a problem, a visionary sees a race to run.
- While some worry, “What if I trip?” a visionary wonders, “How fast can I go?”
- While some see a “finisher” T-shirt, a visionary fixates on the victory lap.
- While some fix their eyes solely on their own strengths and abilities, visionaries glue their eyes to Christ.
- While some lament the sacrifices that must be made, visionaries celebrate the lives that will be changed along the way.
- While some count the cost, visionaries count the reward and joyfully move toward its acquisition.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
“Show me your calendar and your checkbook and I will predict your future levels of success.” Those were the opening words of a pastors’ conference, spoken by a gentlemen who was responsible for the oversight of thousands of ministers worldwide.
After the Bible, he said, the most sacred documents in a person’s life are his or her calendar and checkbook.
Do you agree with that thought? Do you agree that today’s investment of time and resource will determine the trajectory of your future?
- World-class grandparents become so by scheduling time to connect with their grandchildren.
- Phenomenal spouses spend the time and money to romance their sweetheart.
- True women and men of God invest in the practices that bring them regularly into contact with the presence of God.
- Masterful lives do not happen by accident; they are the result of intentional planning and investment in the right areas.
Are we living that way? If the conference speaker perused our calendars and checkbooks would he predict futures of impact and significance, or mediocrity and triviality?
As the spring season approaches, let’s apply our spring-cleaning tendencies to our calendars and checkbooks. What should be written into those texts that isn’t? What is written there that shouldn’t be?
Let’s do the necessary cleansing and purging so that we can live the vita sine paenitentia (the life without regret).