O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? Psalm 13:1 NLT
Every day . . . numerous times, I walked to the woods and prayed the same prayer.
Betrayal is never easy to endure—especially when sorrow isn’t offered. When sorrow and repentance are expressed, the betrayed has something to cling to.
I had little hope. I heard no “I’m sorry,” or “Let’s try to work things out.” Rather, “I don’t love you anymore.” I was left … with my thoughts, loneliness, and children. Several times each day, I made my way to the patch of woods behind our house and prayed for God to change her mind and trouble her soul.
I’m sure God answered my prayer—at least the part where He troubled her mind—but He didn’t make her return. From my perspective, it seemed as if He wasn’t listening or that He was delaying His answer for some unknown reason. The psalmist must have felt the same way.
What I had to learn—or remember—is that God’s delays only appear as such. They aren’t in reality. To say God delays means He operates from a past, present, or future perspective when He doesn’t. In my world, past, present, and future exist. In God’s world, everything is now. He sees it all at one time and at the same time. While mind-boggling, believing this about God helps when I feel as if He has forgotten me.
In times of delay, realizing the difference between feeling and fact is also vital. I felt forgotten. The psalmist felt forgotten. But our feelings didn’t represent reality. God never forgets me or any request I make. He merely knows more than I do and sees the whole realm of His plan for me in one full view.
And of course, free will enters the picture. God allows us to make good or poor choices. He won’t force someone who has made a poor choice to change—although He will trouble their soul. If I’m the one suffering because of someone’s bad choice, I may think God is delaying an answer when it’s actually the free will of the person causing the delay.
God’s delays are only delays from our perspective. Don’t let appearances fool you. God loves and cares for you and will do what is in your best interest.
Prayer: Father, we believe by faith that You always work in our best interest.
Tweetable: What do you do when God delays?