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 (

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.

6 comments on “Delays are not refusals

  1. Oh, I love reading Streams in the Desert! That devotional and My Utmost for His Highest (updated version) by Oswald Chambers. Those devotionals are like lifetime keepers that continually encourage anew. Wonderful post!

    p.s. Every time I stop by your blog, your header always makes my eyes open wide and think, SPRING! :oD

    • Thanks, sf. I needed to be reminded of this again tonight, I’m so glad you bumped it for me 🙂 If you like Streams, I’m sure you would love Come Away My Beloved. How I wish it could be read online, like the Streams devotional…maybe someday.

      Spring is almost here! It won’t be long now, wait for it!

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