Sunday, January 14, 2018

When the Answer to Our Prayer Is a Much-Needed Delay

Before I let the horses out Friday morning, I walked the fence to be sure it was still intact after the storm. My frigid journey through the ice wasn't because I want a fine-looking fence, although I do, but because I want the horses safe. If they get out and on the road, an accident, with catastrophic injuries to humans and horses, is far too likely. 

I found a big cedar tree down, but it had fallen away from the fence. A large oak limb had smashed, but not broken, the wire closer to the barn. It was at least eight feet long and about as big around as a whole frozen chicken, admittedly an odd comparison.

The wire was pressed down enough that I could easily step over it, so it would be no problem for the horses. One step and they'd be out of the fence.

The limb had to go. When I went back to the barn for supplies, the horses were seriously unhappy. They were not on their best behavior. Whinnying. Pawing at the door. Stamping their feet. They wanted out of their stalls, and they didn't care why I was delayed.

I ignored them, and did what had to be done.

When the fence was repaired and the pasture was safe, I opened the stall doors. The horses raced out the barn door without so much as a nuzzle of thanks for me. I'd kept them safe, but their only concern was getting what they wanted...out of the barn.  

I wonder how often I've prayed in that same horsey way - demanding what I want with no concern for why God might have waited to answer with a yes. Was there a danger from which I was protected by the delay? Was He preparing something special for me or for those for whom I prayed?

All too often, I presume that I should receive what I want when I want it, but there was a reason Jesus told us to ask for God's will and not our own. His way is best. 

Waiting time isn't wasted time. He has a reason for the delay, every single time. God is at work, even when we don't see His hand.

Today, let's give thanks for His delay and look for the lesson in the waiting. 

"Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:10 nasb 

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