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Delay Is Not Denial

James 1:2-3 says, Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

The Complete Jewish Version uses the word Trust, in place of faith.

James continues in verse 4, “But let perseverance do its complete work, so that YOU may be complete and whole, lacking in nothing.” (CJB)

Raise your hand if you consider it pure joy when you have trials? Uh, no. I think we’d all like to nope out of that one. Nobody likes trials. And when they continue on for weeks, months, years at a time it is natural to become discouraged. We start to feel like we are slogging through the muck, uphill both ways.

I gotta tell you that my family has encountered some trials in recent weeks. The enemy has been lobbing some fiery darts our way. We’ve been praying for protection, and standing firm in the name of Jesus and on the promises of God, and we are feeling a hedge of protection around us. After each and every situation I found myself realizing it could have been a lot worse. God DID protect us. But this last week after a particularly overt attack, I found myself saying, “Ok, God, could you make that hedge a bit bigger? And could we have an attachment of your Holy warring angels assigned to us?” Because, man, the attacks are getting painful! (A resounding “OUCH” bubbles up inside me even now, as I adjust my sitting position.)

There are times when “Waiting on Jesus” takes a whole lot of patience and perseverance. In these times I tend to get into the Psalms and pick up a favorite devotional; God Calling. This little devotional was written by two anonymous women who set time aside to hear from God. And, wow, did God show up when they did! It is a small book, but powerful.

This morning, God led me to the May 1 reading. The title is “Delay is not Denial“.

The message today was to invite God into my every experience. To trust him completely. To know that “Delay is but the wonderful and all loving restraint of your Father–not reluctance, not desire to deny, but the Divine control of a father who can scarcely brook the delay.

Delay is not denial. Not even withholding. It is the opportunity for God to work our your problems and accomplish your desires in the most wonderful way possible for you.”

As I read this, the image I had in my head was of a loving parent preparing a wonderful surprise for their child. Something they know their kiddo will absolutely love. For example, a surprise trip to Legoland with a favorite friend from out of state, during a special set aside time when the families will have the entire facility to themselves. And there will be birthday treats and a visit from the child’s favorite movie characters.

BUT ya’ll….it takes that parent time to coordinate all the arrangements, and align every one of the moving pieces. To orchestrate every provision and position and every person involved.

If you’ve ever planned such an event, you know that it takes a LOT of coordinating and a whole lot of planning. It takes time to wait for the Bonus check that covers it all. There are the many phone calls and texts with the family from out of town. Hotel arrangements. Ordering the cake and finding the people to dress up. Enlisting support from local friends and family to pull it off. Consulting with the staff at the venue to set it all up.

And the child is saying, “Mommmmmmyyyyy. WHEN are we going to Lego Land? It’s Open today! We could just go after lunch!! All you have to do is write a note to my teacher and get my assignments! I can just miss the afternoon classes so we can avoid all the Traffic! I promise I’ll do my homework if you will just take me to Lego Land TODAY!”

But Mommy knows something better is coming. And Mommy knows that missing class for Lego Land is not the best solution.

Like that child, we try to help our Loving Parent. To come up with our own ideas and solutions. But God knows what we don’t. And He is ALWAYS working for our best. Always. Even when His best means having to wait.

Friends, our loving Heavenly Father is working every moment to answer our prayers in the best way possible for us. He can scarcely wait to surprise us with how great it’s going to be, because He knows what He is preparing and He is SO excited, like an earthly parent waiting to surprise their kiddo with something they will love. All the while, we are struggling to wait, He is working for us, bringing everything and everyone into alignment, preparing with Divine Excitement, grinning and celebrating all the way. Because He knows the blessing that He is preparing for us.

The question for us is this:

Will we trust Him?

Will we trust that He is preparing that which is for our best? That which will surprise and amaze us? Will we trust that He longs to bless our socks off with blessings that last forever- not temporary things that will rust or gather dust? Better than we can imagine, ya’ll. Beyond our wildest dreams.

And ya’ll, the beautiful thing about our Loving Heavenly Father is that while He is blessing us, others will be touched by the overflow. Lives transformed. Wounds healed. Brokenness mended.

I can tell you what I have learned this past year. Beauty For Ashes is real. It’s Amazing. It is beyond anything I could have asked or imagined or thought up myself. Only a God who embodies love can take what the enemy intended for evil and transform it into something precious and lovely.

We serve a God worthy of our trust. He’s good. He’s loving. He’s looking out for our BEST.

He stands at the door and knocks and says that He will come in and provide for you. #HisWayIsBetter


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