Have you ever been frustrated when God’s plan is at a snail’s pace? I have. 

I’ll never forget walking up to the podium and greeting the audience as my knees whacked together in my terror. My first ever presentation and I would be telling my story of how God delivered me from being a child abuser. The audience of young moms was filled with friends from church who had no clue of the monster—me—who sat beside them on Sunday mornings. I never intended to ever tell my story publicly. Oh sure, I’d written an article about God’s healing work, but requested it be published anonymously.

But through God’s obvious orchestration I obeyed His leading. In the next hour, I shared how God delivered me through a process of growth. I offered solutions for anger I had learned because He hadn’t instantly delivered me. I was shocked to see “light bulbs” of understanding set off in the eyes of many in the audience. Later, several of the young moms approached me saying they were encouraged to know there was hope for them.

When can I do this again?

But no one clamored for me to speak again, except one opportunity at a nearby church.

I was perplexed. Lord, didn’t I glorify you? Where are your open doors for bringing you more glory?

Looking back now more than forty years later, I can see God’s wisdom. My children were young, six- and four-years-old. They needed me available. I could have easily been tempted to become proud with quick “success.” I had no real idea of what such a ministry would entail. My marriage still needed lots of attention since we had only just begun to heal. There was so much I didn’t know and so much I didn’t know I didn’t know. God’s delay wasn’t a “never,” it was a “wait.”

Yet, we can be tempted to turn away from God because God’s plan isn’t completed in our time line. He failed me. He doesn’t want the best for me after all. How can I trust a God like that? What motivates such reactions? Here are some possibilities:

  • Delay seems like I’m not important to God. I demand to be valued.

  • Delay brings insecurity because it’s uncertain and confusing. I must figure it out to feel safe.

  • Delay slows down my potential success. I must achieve my goals otherwise I’m a failure.

  • Delay questions my beliefs about who God is. I’ve told other people he’s going to work in a certain way and now I’ll be a liar.

To counteract these lies, we must trust God has a bigger and better plan, even in the midst of delay with these truths:

  • God is not in a hurry because He knows His glory will be revealed—it’s just a matter of time, His time. We cooperate with His plan when we surrender to the timing of His will.
  • God isn’t in a hurry because he already knows what’s going to happen. You and I are impatient because we want to know His plan. While events unfold and people change slowly, it seems God isn’t being glorified.
  • God isn’t in a hurry because he sees our need for sanctification. We finite creatures require time to move through a process of growth. As God’s plan develops and we grow stronger—and stronger—in Him, He is glorified.
  • God isn’t in a hurry because He sees the end from the beginning. He knows He’ll victoriously fulfill His plan for His glory. No need to hurry or worry for Him.

Do you identify with any of the feelings or thoughts I’ve expressed? I hope you’ll decide that you can trust God enough even for the delays.

I’d love to hear, as would my readers, about how you have dealt with the delays God has allowed in your life. You will encourage us all.

(This post is an adapted excerpt from my book Pure-Hearted: The Blessings of Living Out God’s Glory)