When God delays.

July 10, 2012

Distressed, someone asked me this question a month or so ago via text:

God is providing every step of the way, but why doesn’t He give quick resolution?  You know He is good.

And in equal distress, I paused, struggling for an answer — not only for the situation but for an explanation of God’s character in the midst of this particular situation.  If He is good, why doesn’t He nip injustice at the bud?  Why let it flourish for even a season?

I stared at my phone for a while, trying to think of something helpful.  Anything but the screaming Why in my heart.

Then by grace, this answer surfaced:

Joseph in the OT was falsely treated by his brothers and imprisoned by Potiphar’s wife’s false accusation, too, but it was for God’s good purpose for His people.  God’s own Son didn’t get a quick resolution … but something better followed.

We can trust Him and His good plan.

We can trust Him.  He doesn’t delay.  There is nothing that can delay Him — whether unforeseen events, preoccupation with other matters, apathy, helplessness, lack of wisdom, or man’s strength and cunning.  Our God doesn’t do things off-the-cuff.  Our God is not a delaying God.  He is not a heartless God.  He is not a God to be outwitted by evil.

Then why doesn’t He immediately squash injustice and evil wherever it takes root?  I don’t know the totality of that answer.  But from the little I am learning, somewhere in that perceived “delay,” people are saved from eternal wrath — sometimes even the perpetrators of the evil themselves.  And somewhere in that perceived “delay,” His children are lovingly refined in the fire and learn more deeply of Christ, the One who “continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly” (I Peter 2:23), the One who prayed even for His foreknown murderers, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

I think of those whose lies destroy men’s lives.  Even the lives of those I love.  And I wonder, How much of my Savior’s fellowship have I truly savored, that I might pray to clasp hands one Day with the very ones who oppressed and devised evil against me, against my family, as kindred in Christ?

I can’t quite answer that question yet.  But I pray that — no matter what happens — I might be able do that.  By His grace.


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