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Delays from Former Years
The Task-Filled Life Bible Study — Week 3, Day 1
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you (Psalm 139:17-18).
“You are never too old.” “There is work yet to be done.” “The time is short, so don’t delay.” “Tell the good news to your kids and grandkids.” “Encourage and strengthen others for the walk that lays ahead for them.”
These are incredible thoughts the Holy Spirit laid on my heart as the aging years crept up on me. When noticing the signs that indicate I was not as spry and youthful as I used to be, I returned to Scripture for hope. Opening my eyes to truths I had forgotten, I rejoiced in these aging years, for the time to do the Lord’s work was getting shorter. Many stories are yet to be told and many works of kindness are still to be accomplished. Turning seventy wasn’t a death sentence; it was a precious gift.
What was God’s response of love to me? New ministries were given that I thought would have been accomplished many years before. Writing and speaking opportunities were placed in my path, a path I had desired twenty years earlier. I never dreamed God’s delays for service to Him would be of greater benefit at the age of seventy than at the age of fifty. God knew best and it revealed a love far beyond comprehension.
It is not unusual for God to present delays having a divine purpose that far exceeds ours. In Genesis 18 and 21, God reveals that the impossible is to become possible. At God’s appointed time, the aging couple Abraham and Sarah gave birth to a son who would not only be one of the fathers of the nation of Israel but of Jesus Himself (Matthew 1).
After the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem by King David, he passionately wanted to build a temple for the Lord. However, the building of the temple was not to be built by David but was to be delayed and built by his son Solomon. David, though desiring to do this mighty act for God, rejoiced that another would receive that joy and blessing (1 Chronicles 15 and 17).
“For you, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him. Therefore, your servant has found courage to pray before you. And now, O Lord, you are God, and you have promised this good thing to your servant” (1 Chronicles 17:25-26).
God’s delays, even in the latter portion of our lives, do not disavow God’s faithfulness to us. Rather it is in those delays that many others may be reached for Him – whether through us or through those with whom we share our dreams and visions. There are yet people to reach, lives to restore, and the kingdom’s work to be done. While God’s timing for those may not be ours, His grace is. Resting all those hopes and dreams at the foot of the cross grants us the comfort to know that in all things He knows the eternal, divine picture and will use it to His glory. We remember that the plans of the Lord always stand firm (Psalm 33:11).
Prayer: Dear Jesus, while delays are difficult, I want to trust Your heavenly plan for all things accomplished – or not accomplished – in my life. Give me the strength to do what I can and to find grace when Your chosen delay is needed. In Jesus’ name and for His sake I ask this. Amen.