The thought of being delayed for a blessing seems to be frustrating, unnerving and a host of other feelings. We hear that “delayed but not denied” is a good thing, but that delay though? How long will it be, Lord? Why is there a delay in the first place?
I encourage you to think about the delay to what God has for you as a blessing and to be thankful. If you know that God said you will be married one day and that His word says that He will withhold no good thing from those who walk upright (Psalm 84:11), then why does the delay portion of the wait seem so bothersome?
Our flesh is being tamed and, in many cases, killed daily in the waiting or delay. Our flesh (or natural way of doing things) will make us think it’s all because of something we did—that we are holding up our progress because of past sin, doubt, etc. But what if the delay is not because of you? What if your future spouse isn’t ready yet? We don’t know what’s on the other side of our wait and delay; we don’t know the full story. The best news is that God does—all we have to control is our reaction to the delay.
In the upcoming season, shift your perspective from anxiety or frustration to thankfulness. Don’t forget that God is our protection. He will keep you from things that are going to harm you and that don’t line up with your destiny. Our job as believers is to let God have His way in us and give thanks in advance for what’s to come despite the delay: if you’re getting older, if you’re the last in your group of friends to find someone special, if you’re doing the best as you can as a single parent in waiting.
The delay is good and something to be thankful for because who you are now is different from who you used to be. Me five years ago? Hmm, not ready to be married in the least bit, even though I wanted to be by age 25. Knowing what I know now, I’m glad I’m single, learning every day and have a promise for greater things in my life to come that I’ll be able to handle better because of natural and spiritual maturity.
Let God prepare you in this season.
Think about if you truly had your way back when you wanted your blessing; would you have been truly ready with your mindset, habits, issues back then? Would you have been able to handle the truth and responsibilities of marriage? Or were you just looking for an escape? I know that it’s not easy being single, but it’s not easy being in a relationship that you rushed into. It’s not easy being in a loveless/lonely marriage. It’s not easy being in out of God’s will. Delay often gives you time to think soberly about what you’re doing and where you’re going. Take the time necessary to develop that patience and patient love needed for such a lifetime commitment.
Wait on God and be inclined to follow His instructions with an obedient spirit to honor Him and He will make things clear for you. We have too much going on in society and the world to be wishy-washy in our relationship with Christ. He desires to use us to bring forth the very things that will impact lives for the better and with no delay. Your obedience will help someone in their own delay season!
My fellow singles, whatever the reason is for your delay, remember the promise and keep holding on to the Lord. He keeps us back for a number of reasons, but if you know that you will receive it and shift the frustration to thankfulness. The Lord is our Father, who sees all and His Word knows our thoughts and hearts.
“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3 NIV
BMWK, can you think of any other moments in life when a delay has worked toward your good?