“My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O LORD—how long?” Psalm 6:3 (ESV)

We all hate being delayed. Whether it is at the airport and our flight is delayed, or it is in the doctor’s office as we wait well past our scheduled appointment time, something in us wants to keep moving, to stay on schedule. This past season has been exhausting, to say the least. We’re praying for revival, but only seeing a small stream. We pray for breakthrough in our government, for exposures and restoration but things just seem to be getting worse. We pray for our prodigals, but they have not yet come home. We pray for that lost loved one, but their heart is as hard toward the gospel as ever. Btw, I prayed for my father every day for 25 years before getting to lead him to Christ and baptizing him, at just the right time!

In Acts 24, the apostle Paul continues his jail time, going from trial to trial. Something that jumped out at me in this chapter was the constant delay! The first verse says “five days later…”, then verse 24 says “several days later…”, then finally verse 27 says “when two years had passed…”! The apostle Paul was locked away. He was not out doing great crusades, or stirring up huge riots as he preached the gospel or “turning the world upside down” as he had been accused of at an earlier time (Acts 17:6). He was now confined and kept under guard. Nevertheless, God had him exactly where he needed to be. From the outside it looked wasteful, but God was is the waiting. In fact, Paul undoubtedly took advantage of this season and wrote things, and even got to speak with kings, governors, high ranking officials and the leading men of the city (Acts 25:23)! It may not have been his plan, but he simply kept in step with the Spirit. He did not let his circumstances influence him. He trusted that God was with him and had him right where he was supposed to be. And he faithfully took advantage of every moment!

Psalm 46:10 tells us to “Be still and know that I am God!” The context of that passage is mountains quaking and falling into the sea, the oceans foaming and roaring, and the nations fighting! And though the world is in absolute chaos with darkness seemingly increasing, we are told to simply be still and wait before the One who is the great I am! He will be exalted among the nations! Our God wins!!!

Though it may seem otherwise, the Lord is not slow (2 Peter3:9)! He is never late, nor in a hurry. Though He may seem to delay, He arrives exactly when He intends to. Just like a baby in the womb, He is working behind the scenes, in people’s hearts, and doing things to prepare for what He is about to do publicly. Jesus said, “My Father is always at His work” (John 5:17)! When the time is right He will fulfill His word (Jeremiah 1:12).

Our waiting, that is, in these seasons of delay, we tend to begin to think, this is the way it’s going to be. Our hope being deferred allows layer upon layer of disappointment. The liar wants us to believe that this is the new norm! But that is simply deception operating on weary souls. This season does not define you, rather it refines you!!!

Perhaps you are waiting to hear back from the doctor regarding some tests. Maybe you’re waiting for a decision that will impact you regarding your career, your future. Perhaps you are waiting for that special person to come into your life, and have begun to wonder if you’d ever meet them. Whatever it is, let God do the deep work in you as you wait!!! Please don’t miss this great opportunity by yearning to be rescued from your situation.

Ask God to show you any place where you carry disappointment, where you are losing hope, where you have begun to doubt His promises and faithfulness, where you have begun to accept the lies and narrative being spewed upon you, etc. Ask Him to pinpoint the root of any anxiety or fear you may be carrying. Whatever He shows you be quick to repent, asking Him to restore your faith, your fire, your passion, and your assignment for this hour! Thank Him for putting you exactly where you are supposed to be, right now. Ask Him to use you in this place, in this time of waiting and delays. Ask Him to do His refining work within you, to prepare you for what is about to happen! Tell Him you choose to trust Him with all your heart, instead of leaning on your own understanding and/or how things appear to be (Proverbs 3:5).