“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.” – Isaiah 26: 3-4
Derailed. There’s nothing worse than a delay. Especially when you’re on the road to a place you really need to get to, or a delay in a dream that you’ve been praying for, or a prayer gone long unanswered. Delays meet us all along the way of life and challenge our thought patterns, our character and our faith.
The question is not whether or not we will experience a delay it’s a matter of when and how. So what do you do when you’re met with a delay? It seems as if God has not heard your prayer. Or if He has, it seems as if He’s uninterested. It seems as if the delay is just an obstacle or a barrier keeping you from where you need to get to in the first place.
It is even more frustrating if it feels like you’re doing all the right things, then what? What about then? When we encounter a delay, it’s time to really taste and see that the Lord is good and He is good all the time. And yet, if we were honest, many of us freak out at even a glimpse of a delay. We pout, complain, put up a fit; pretty much like a spoiled toddler who has no idea of the wonderous things God has in store for their life.
While we may not always have control over the delays in our life, we do have control of our attitude and how we will choose to respond to the delays. As difficult as it may be, God’s grace enables us to not be overcome by the delay but to be overcomers.
So how do we keep our minds from getting derailed by a delay?
1.) Bring it to God in Prayer: we must get more acquainted with seeking God more. Praying without ceasing. Be honest with God, pour your heart out to him and tell him how you feel. There’s no need to sugar coat anything with him because He sees and knows our hearts so we
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
Philippians 4:8 are free to be 100% honest with him. Also, practice being still before God and allow Him to speak and minister to your soul. Prayer is not a monologue but rather a dialogue, so give Him room to speak to you.
2.) Align Your Thinking With the Word of God: whatever thoughts are coming into your mind, immediately align them with the word of God. For example, if you feel alone and forgotten, that is a lie. God has promised never to leave you nor forsake you (see Deuteronomy 31:8). If you feel like there is no hope for the future, that is a lie because God has promised that He has a plan and a purpose for our life (see Jeremiah 29:11). If you feel anxious, cast down the anxiety by doing exactly what the Word of God says before you try anything else. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” In everything that we face, we must be diligent about aligning our thoughts with the word of God. If it doesn’t match up, cast it out. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ – 2 Corinthians 10:5” That means that we have the power through Jesus to take control of our thoughts. They no longer have to control us but any thought that sets itself against God’s word, we can cast out of our minds by the blood of Jesus.
3.) Delays Do Not Always Mean No: many times, we misunderstand a delay as an unanswered prayer or as a ‘no’ to a desire on our hearts. But delays don’t always mean a ‘no.’ For example, when there’s a delay at the local bakery, they’re still baking your loaf of bread, it’s just taking a bit longer than you expected but when it’s ready it will be hot, fresh, and just for you. We understand delays that we can see the reason why but when we can’t, it is then that we must set our heels in to trusting God. The delay is often times preparation for what is yet to come. God is a good Father. He doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle, nor does He give us gifts before we’re ready. He is always working on us to sanctify us and make us more like Jesus. Hold tight in the midst of delay and submit yourself as a vessel to the Father and watch what He does with your life.
4.) What are you doing with the Delay? It’s a good question to ask yourself from time to time in the middle of a delay. If you’re unemployed and the delay is for a job, then at the end of that season when you do get a job and you look back on the waiting, what will you have done during the waiting. Sure, you were aggressively job hunting but were you a pleasant person to be around, did your faith get stronger, did you learn a new skill, did you spend time serving others? In the middle of a delay, we have the option to decide how we’re going to use it. True, we don’t always know the duration of the delay but we can still practice good stewardship with the time we are given.
If you’re in the midst of a delay right now, take heart. You are loved unconditionally, just as you are by God. He sees you, He loves you and He has a plan for your life. Put all of your hope in Him. He will never disappoint.