Girlfriends in God Daily Devotional for Women

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Girlfriends in God - Aug. 11, 2008

August 11, 2008
God is Never Late
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter: 3: 8-9 NIV).

Friend to Friend
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to wait. However, I’ve learned that when it comes to answering prayer, God is never in a hurry.

When we pray, sometimes God says yes; sometimes God says no; and sometimes God says wait.  Abraham had to wait twenty-five years before God fulfilled his promise to give him a son.  David had to wait many years before God fulfilled His promise to make him a king just as Joseph had to wait many years before God fulfilled His promise to rule over his brothers. The people of Israel had to wait several hundred years before God fulfilled His promise to send them a Savior.

Waiting is difficult.  As women, we tend to take matters in our own hands and make things happen, and we only have to look as far as the Garden of Eden to see what can happen when we do. Sarah grew weary of waiting for God to fulfill His promise to provide her a son and took matters into her own hands. She sent Abraham into her tent with her servant, Hagar, and they gave birth to trouble. Rachel grew weary of waiting on God to fulfill His promise to bless her second born over her first, so she took matters into her own hands, dressed Jacob up as Esau, and deceived her nearly blind husband, Isaac.  As a result, Jacob became a deception prodigy. 

Waiting is a difficult task, but one thing is certain.  God is never early and He is never late.  Oh, it may feel as though He is.  It appeared so to Mary and Martha who were waiting for Jesus to come and heal their brother, Lazarus. When Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick, He waited two days before He made the journey to Bethany to see them.  When Jesus finally arrived, Lazarus had been dead for four days.

Mary, Martha and the townspeople were mourning and wailing over their loss.  “If only you had been here,” Martha said.  Yes, in her mind, Jesus was too late, but Jesus knew exactly what He was doing and when He was to do it.  In fact, it was His Father’s plan all along to raise Lazarus from the dead.  After four days, the dead body would have begun to decay.  How like God to wait until a situation looks completely hopeless to bring about a miracle for greatest impact. Had He healed Lazarus right away, some would have believed - but when God raised him from the dead, many believed.

Friend, remember this. God is not waiting to answer our prayers as if playing with our emotions.  When Jesus saw the grief of Mary and her friends, He broke out in tears and wept.  Jesus was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.  It was difficult for Him to see the pain death had brought, and yet He knew the joy that was yet to come. This would not be the last time someone would roll away a stone to reveal a miraculous resurrection!

So, if you are waiting on God for an answer to prayer, just remember… He’s never late…He’s always on time. “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” (Psalm 27:14).

Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, help me not to grow anxious or frustrated when waiting.  Whether it is waiting in line at the post office, waiting in rush hour traffic, or waiting on an answer to prayer, help me see my waiting as an opportunity.  Waiting in line is an opportunity to minister to those around me with a kind word or a simple smile.  Waiting in traffic is an opportunity to pray.  Waiting on an answer to prayer is an opportunity to trust and exercise my faith.  Most of all, Lord, thank You that you are never late, but always right on time.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
If you had been Mary and Martha, what would you have said to Jesus upon his arrival to Lazarus’ tomb?

Have you ever asked God, “Where are You?  If so, when?

Are you waiting on God to answer a particular prayer?

What does He promise in Jeremiah 33:3?

*All Scripture references are taken from the NIV unless otherwise noted.

More from the Girlfriends
Waiting is hard work, but sometimes I think we just aren’t listening!  If you would like to learn more about how to listen to God’s still small voice, you’ll love Sharon’s book, Becoming a Woman who Listens to God.  You’ll discover how God speaks, why we don’t hear Him, and how to grow more in-tuned to His voice.

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