Delays are not refusals

I try not to be presumptuous with God.  I don’t want to put words in His mouth that He didn’t say to me, and yet, I want to believe the messages that I keep receiving from His Word, that almost daily are uncannily reinforced by my two favorite devotionals, and the daily readings of the Catholic Church.  I find myself identifying with the father of the demon possessed boy in Mark 9, and saying with Him “Lord, I believe!  Help my unbelief.”

For the past several years, starting in the early 1990’s, my husband and I have received the message that God works all things out for the good of His people (Rom. 8:28); that He has hope and a bright future for us (Jer. 29:11); that He’s doing a new thing,  (Isaiah 42:9, 43:19, 48:6); that dry desert wandering will eventually come to an end,  and God will deliver, vindicate, and restore us (Isaiah 35, Joel 2); and that He makes ALL things beautiful in His own time (Ecc. 3)

My personal quiet time today is a perfect example of how God uses different means to send me these same messages, and I have to believe that they are beyond coincidence.  This verse was chosen for today on my homepage (myway.com):

I know what it is to be in need (abased), and I know what it is to have plenty (abound).  I have learned the secret of being content in every situation, whether fed or hungry, in plenty or inwant.  I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Phil. 4:12.13)

From there, I traveled to the daily readings of the Catholic Church and this jumps out at me from today’s responsorial Psalm:

Poor and needy as I am, the LORD has me in mind. You, my helper, my Saviour, my God, do not delay. (Psalm 40:17)

Immediately followed by the last line of today’s Streams in the Desert devotional:

Delays are not refusals; many a prayer is registered, and underneath it the words: “My time is not yet come.” God has a set time as well as a set purpose, and He who orders the bounds of our habitation orders also the time of our deliverance.

Today, I hear God speaking to my heart:

  “Lyn, I’m teaching you how to be content and rest in Me.  You are learning the practical application of walking by faith…I’m with you, you can do it!  One day, I will pour out these promised blessings on you, but it’s not today.  Trust Me.”

And I turn to my last resource for my quiet time Come Away My Beloved, by Frances J. Roberts.  I open it and read a random passage from it:

With the Strong Cords of my Faithfulness

Oh my child, I have loved you with an everlasting love.
With the strong cords of My faithfulness I have bound Myself to you.
Throughout all the days of your sojourn, I have been deeply concerned for you,
never turning my attention from you.

Darkness may have pressed around your soul, but I was near at hand.
The night of affliction may obscure your vision,
but the night and the day are both alike to Me.
When you pass through the waters, I am with you.
Whether you see me or not, I am at your side.
Though at times you feel only aloneness, My hand is upon you,
My arm encircles you, and My heart is touched by your grief.

I suffered in all ways as you suffer, but you will never suffer as I suffered;
for I experienced one awful moment of separation from the Father;
while I have promised “I will never forsake you, and I will never leave you.