For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3 (ESV)
I’m the kind of gardener who plants bulbs and then checks daily for the first tiny shoots of green. I want to see progress, and I want it soon. Waiting is difficult for me. When I plant my crop or do my work or pray my prayers, I want results.
And yet God is working all the time. Underground that bulb is receiving the moisture and nutrients it needs and stores the surplus so that the shoots can reach up to the sun in the spring time. That waiting time is not lost time.
Children lose teeth and anxiously wait for that new growth to appear just above the gum line. (Of course, if they believe in the Tooth Fairy, they’re not at all distressed about the loss of teeth.)
There are all sorts of waiting times that come to us as we grow: for word of the new job, for the doctor’s diagnosis, for the teacher’s grade, for corporate decisions, for answers to prayer. But all the while, God is working. Everything has an appointed time just as in nature: springtime and harvest, life and death, sunrise and sunset. God is working.
While we wait, delays offer opportunities to trust God and to rely on him rather than our own plans and ingenuity. We can watch for his creative resolutions to our tangled problems. We can allow God to build our character as we discover his ways far above our own. We can be still and know that he is God.
Delays are not dead ends. They are God’s ways of reassuring us that he is in control—we are not—and that what he is accomplishing will be beyond what we can think or imagine. Let us be at peace with our delays. God is working.
Father, impatience seems to dog our steps. Help us to wait on you, trusting your love and wisdom in all things. In Jesus our Lord. AMEN.