The joy of delayed gratification in our relationship with God


The door bell rang this morning – nothing unusual in that. Postie handed over three bags held together with elastic bands – interesting. Opening them revealed seven packs of ink jet cartridges, and Cadbury mini eggs – intriguing. A question jostled for attention in the back of my mind. Did I order these cartridges?

The invoice was dated 8th August 2011 – confusing! A phone call  confirmed I ordered them two years ago. Mr Customer Service had no answer as to why it had taken so long for the cartridges to arrive. Fortunately they are compatible with my printer, and the eggs tasted great – so I decided to keep them. Well, I decided to keep the cartridges, but eat the chocolate eggs!

The notion of delay is not delightful these days. My favoured online shopping web site provides despatch details, anticipated delivery dates and even, on some items, up-to-the-minute progress if so desired. While this can be useful, it can also be a problem. If we do not receive what we expect when we expect it, all kinds of demons are released to torment the soul.

Do we treat God like this? “God, I prayed for a …….., and you still haven’t given me one!” (insert ‘job’, ‘spouse’, ‘child’, etc. as appropriate). When He delays something it is for a good reason. Let us not fret when desires are not met. Instead, let us take heart from God’s patience. He delayed judgment so that you and I could be saved, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NIV11-GK)

Not only that, but He is preparing a harvest to come at just the right time, and so we are called to continue our faithful service in anticipation of it, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NIV11-GK)

Are you frustrated at a Godly delay? Hang on, be patient, don’t give up. Not only will all promises of God be delivered at the right time, but you might get a bonus chocolate egg thrown in too!

Malcolm Cox