Monday, August 17, 2009

Delays?

I sat in the Nashville airport preparing to return home - physically, emotionally and mentally. I said my good-byes, had my coffee, bought trinkets for the children and sat down to wait for the departure of my flight.

The departure time came and went and there was no sign of my plane. There was no explanation for why, or even an indication for when. I sat. I waited. I wondered.

Finally, an announcement was made for a gate change, but no indication of when and why. I overheard from others that there were storms in Chicago. I hoped that we could just fly over those, and not be delayed. I was also eager to get home and get on with life.

“Why do storms have to delay my plans?” I muttered. “And why are they not announcing the departure time changes or the reason for delay?”

I quickly realized why my frustration and irritation were mounting. It paralleled my life. Why do storms, either my own or other people’s, have to delay my plans? And why wasn't I being informed of the delay, or told what the delay was all about? All as if I had a right to know.

I took a deep breath. OK, I may not have known the reason for the delay, but I would attempt to wait with a “happy heart” (that’s what I ask my children to find when they are grumbling or discontent) and make the best of it.

Delays are annoying and often misunderstood. We don’t like them. They frustrate us and sometimes even confuse us. They feel like a waste of time. When they occur amidst our own crisis (and growth) it can be filled with teeth gritting tension and headaches, not to mention, temptations to question “Is God really at work in my life? What is the hold up and what is He up to?”

Hebrews 10:35-38 says, “So, do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. For in just a very little while, ‘He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased.’”

Dear reader, do you feel like you are being delayed on your journey? Do you feel like God’s work is on hold in your life? Are you confused, frustrated, irritated, or weary of waiting and wondering?

Do not give up. Do not throw away your confidence in the One who has a perfect plan for your life, and who is even using these delays to prepare you for what He has for you. Persevere. You may not know or understand what God is doing, but He is at work. He promised.

I am writing this while in the air. We finally did get off the ground. We are making our way around the storm. The plane is rocking and rolling at times, but I am homeward bound. This too, gives me hope. Whether in the storm, delayed by the storm or skirting around the storm, my hope is in Jesus, who is coming and will not delay, and then all will make sense. I may not have an official announcement telling me when and why the delays are now, but someday I will know.

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