"For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day."
- Habakkuk 2:3 AMP
Years ago, my husband, Joe, applied for a job in the company where his friend and former coworker, Rob, was employed. My husband really wanted and needed this position. Even so, we put this job "on the altar," and we asked the Lord to close every door if it wasn't His best for Joe. My husband's interview went so well that Rob told him that the job was his. Nevertheless, doors began closing against Joe, and the job was given to someone else. Even though we were disappointed, we tried to take comfort in the knowledge that the Lord had intervened in order to keep my husband in His perfect will.
Exactly two years later, Rob approached Joe with a second opportunity for them to work together. A job which was almost identical to the one that my husband lost had opened up, and though Joe was hesitant to try a second time, Rob convinced him that it was worth a shot. Once again, even though we really wanted this job for Joe, we prayed that God would open and close the right doors so that my husband would be kept in the Lord's perfect will. We were all amazed when every door that seemed closed the first time, opened wide. Joe was offered the job, and he accepted.
What made the difference between these two experiences? God's timing. In both instances, my family and I prayed the same way. We asked the Lord to open and close the right doors so that my husband would be in His perfect will at all times. The first time, God closed doors. The second time, He opened them. As we earnestly sought the Lord's wisdom and guidance, He moved mightily to keep us in His will and timing.
There are times when it appears that God is saying "no" to us, but He's actually saying "wait". The Bible often uses phrases like "the appointed time" or "the proper time". Solomon wrote, "There is a proper time and procedure for every matter." (Ecclesiastes 8:6 NIV) Ours is not a "hit-or-miss" God. He created us with specific plans and purposes in mind, and His timing is always perfect. Scripture says: "But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!" (Habakkuk 2:3 TLB) As long as our trust is in God, and we are praying and seeking Him daily, we can be sure that He is busy working behind the scenes to bring our God-given dreams and visions to pass.
The Lord instructs us to be patient, and not to despair, because He knows that impatience and discouragement can cause us to miss out on His best for us. Sometimes God makes us wait because certain circumstances are not yet right for us. Other times, we're the ones who are not yet ready, or someone else involved is not prepared. As long as we are praying and believing God to work all things out for our good according to His promise (Romans 8:28), we can trust that He is actively working in our circumstances, our lives, and the lives of others.
If you are waiting on God for some special blessing or breakthrough today, remember that delays are not necessarily denials. Keep your faith and hope in God, believing that at just the right time, He will open doors for you. When He does, you will know without a doubt that it was worth the wait!
Prayer: Lord, please teach me to always have an attitude that says - "God, if it's not Your will for me, I don't want it!" Help me to realize that even something that is Your will for me, but is out of Your perfect timing, is still disobedience. Grant me the patience I need to wait upon You for Your absolute best. Thank You that as I keep in step with Your plans for me, my blessings won't be delayed a single day!
- J. M. Farro