When God Must Delay The Answer - The Warrior's Journey®

When God Must Delay The Answer

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The other night Mrs. Causey and I got into a quarrel. We were driving down our steep, winding, and narrow driveway when we met our son driving up. Mrs. Causey and I were in our pickup and my son was in his Ford Focus. For such incidents, the unwritten rule is that the vehicle which is ascending has the right of way over the vehicle which is descending.

So, I put the truck into reverse and started backing up for a distance of about a ¼ mile. Now, most of our driveway has a steep downward hill on one side and a ditch on the other. So, when we got to the narrowest part of the driveway Mrs. Causey, who was on the steep-descent side, started yelling, “You’re getting too close to the edge!”

So, to accommodate her, I tried to lean the truck to my side – the ditch. “Plunk” went the rear wheel into the ditch.

I pulled forward and out of the ditch. Then tried backing up again, and again Mrs. Causey started shouting, “You’re getting to close to the edge!”  “You’re getting to close to the edge!”

So, to accommodate her, I steered the truck more to my side. And, again, “Plunk,” into the ditch I went. Now, remember, this was at night, with my son’s headlights blaring at us. So, on two more attempts – and two more complaints from Mrs. Causey – I drove into the ditch again.

I tried to explain to her that I had less clearance on my side than she had on hers. “So,” I said, “please stop yelling!”

Anyway, finally we got past the narrow stretch of the driveway and were able to pull over and allow our son to pass. As we proceeded to drive down to our house, I thought, “I need to be able to see what she sees, so I can better judge which way to steer the truck. She may still holler that I’m getting too close to the edge, but at least I’ll know what she considers to be ‘too close.’”

While reflecting on this incident, I thought about how God must have to manage all our varied and sometimes conflicting prayers. As the Christmas holidays approach, many people are praying for a “white Christmas.”  But all those people who’ll be traveling over the holidays are praying for a safe journey. Who does God accommodate? Probably the one whose life will be at risk by driving through a snowstorm.

Fortunately, God sees all possible outcomes to our prayers and the impact each answer will have on everyone. God may be more inclined to answer the farmer’s prayer to send rain on his crops over the team’s prayer for fair weather for their softball game.

If God was at the wheel of our truck last night, He might have ignored some of my wife’s protests about “getting too close to the edge,” knowing that we were about to plunge into the ditch on the other side. And sometimes He may have to temporarily ignore or delay our demands when an immediate answer might adversely affect someone else.

I suspect that, most times, God times the answer to our prayers to achieve the best possible outcome. This was the case for Joseph when he was imprisoned in Egypt. The timing of Joseph’s release from prison had to be synchronized with Pharaoh’s troubling dreams (Genesis 39:19-41:45).

When Martha and Mary pleaded for Jesus to come and heal their brother, He was compelled to delay the answer (John 11:1-44). The purpose for this delay? It was to give the two women an immensely greater revelation of Himself. Jesus had to demonstrate that He was not only capable of keeping their brother from dying. He was capable of raising him up from death, corruption, and hades. He was able to take the most hopeless situation and transform it into unimaginable good.

So keep on praying to God. Don’t get discouraged when He seems to delay His answer. God’s delays are not denials. He is simply timing the answer to your prayers to achieve the best possible outcome.

PRAYER:  Teach me, O Lord, to pray and to pray faithfully – even when the answer doesn’t come as quickly as I desire. Remind me that Your ways are higher and wiser than mine and to never lose faith. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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