"It is important to grasp that when unfruitfulness, delays, and time are against you, you must keep doing the things God has already given you to do."
I felt a pinch in my heart when I read that line from Frank Damazio's book, Delays All Leaders Must Contend With. I was convicted. I have been impatient because of a recent delay in my life and I have been tempted to think negatively of others who are causing the delay. I felt neglected and unimportant.
Haven't we all felt bypassed, ignored, neglected, abused, and as a result, unimportant and insignificant just because things are not happening to us the way we want them to happen? We waited, we stood firm, we kept our part of the bargain, yet the other party didn't even move or give a hint, or send an apology. The greater danger is not in being annoyed with the other person and turning your back on the person or on the project, but take note, it is in getting angry with God.
If we will be honest, we have been angry with God over something at least one time in our life, haven't we? We have been hurt by unanswered prayers and unmet expectations and naturally, we long for an explanation. Sometimes, the reply doesn't come too soon. Just like what happened to the couple Zacharias and Elizabeth who "were doing all the right things in the right way with a righteous motive" (p.132). They were both righteous before God yet God still hasn't heard their prayer for a child. Elizabeth was already too old to bear a child but instead of getting angry at God, both she and old Zacharias kept serving faithfully in the Lord's temple as priests. They kept doing the routines while bearing the pain of being childless until one day, God sent an angel to proclaim the coming of a heavenly gift--the birth of their son John the Baptist.
Delays are part of life. But they do serve a purpose. By the time I finished reading the chapter, my eyes were clouded with tears but my heart was cleansed by an understanding of God's purpose. My heart is ready again to trust God and His perfect timing.
Delays All Leaders Must Contend With: Understanding God's Timing and Faithfulness by Frank Damazio is published locally by Church Strengthening Ministry.