By: Richard Gazowsky
Yes, I know this blog is late. And I would say that the most common complaint I’ve heard (from myself and others) regarding God, is that He seems to be late a lot. Even the ancient prophets commented about this divine characteristic. Hosea said, “Though He may tarry wait for it, it will come.” Is it true, then, that God could be late? I’m not going to speak much on this issue, only to say that it’s definitely true our perception of God is that He is usually late.
Now, if you are a real stickler for religious protocol, you will probably have issue with what I just said. But I’m not going to deal with your type, who choose religious illusions rather than the real truth. What we trying to do here is open up our relationships with God, just like the prophet Hosea did, at a level of honesty that reveals truth in us, while at the same time helps us to understand God (who, yes, is always right), and why it’s so hard for us to find what His “right” actually means.
I’ve discovered that most of my reasons for thinking God has been delayed, or is late, is because my motivations were usually driven by the spirit of anxiousness, which looked for any excuse, no matter how obscure, and locked onto it as proof that now, today, was the day of fulfillment of what God had promised. And usually, the string that I used to connect the dots to my timeframe was flimsy indeed, and dissipated with the natural passage of time, right through the non-existent event. This kind of reaction has occurred so often in my life that I finally learned to replace the statement, “Today, I know this is going to be fulfilled,” with the words, “If it’s the Lord’s will, it shall be accomplished today.”
This new way of approaching situations has relieved me of a lot of the anxious pain that often inflicted me with stress. I believe it’s also one of the reasons that God allows us to miscalculate His timing. He wants us to, “Be anxious for nothing but in everything through prayer make our request known unto God.” So, the conclusion I’ve come to, is that God wants to end the anxious spirit inside me. After all, didn’t Paul mean what he said when he said, “be anxious for nothing?” And, the last time I looked up the word “nothing” it still means nothing.
There is another reason that God leaves us in mystery when it comes to trying to calculate His arrival times. And that is, He is protecting us from assaults from enemies, or from satanic forces, that fight against us. I can’t tell you the number of times that this has occurred in my life. I would testify about something exciting that was about to happen, then go about trying to guess the timing of the event. But what inevitably happened was that the words of my mouth became bulls-eyes and targets placed upon my life. Tons of verbal attacks would then immediately follow.
It’s shocking how many people will line up to attack you when you’ve been, or are about to be, blessed. Didn’t this happen to the blind man that Jesus healed? This was why Christ often instructed those He healed not to tell anyone about what He had just done. When the blind man told the Pharisees what Jesus did for him, they kicked him out of the synagogue. And Jesus said the people who perform such attacks think they are doing the will of God. Of course we know that it’s really satan, who is given the job of accusing the brethren, the saints. But if the shoe fits, go ahead and wear it.
The other reason I feel God chooses to be late is that He tests the most intimate parts of our personalities and hearts ~ “the thoughts and intents of our hearts.” I’m now dealing with the deepest reaches and caressings of our souls, and how we respond to things in spiritual, physical, and contemplative ways. For example, I have lately been recovering from an unusually debilitating medical condition, something that the casual observer wouldn’t have noticed about me but my family members were very aware of. While in this situation I found myself having a hard time coping with activities that were a part of my normal lifestyle. I’m always very active and don’t do a lot of sedentary work because it’s just too boring.
Suddenly I found myself doing a lot of sitting, which meant I had plenty of time to think. In the past, such docile activity would soon become the birthing ground of the anxious spirit inside of me and I would find myself in restless internal conflict. But recently God has changed all of that. He has taught me to slow down and to enjoy periods of rest, and showed me how to place my mind in neutral. In other words, what the Lord seems to be changing is the internal thoughts and intents of my heart, which of course affects my outward culture. I feel so honored to have this attention from the Lord. I hope you, too, get the pleasure of Him being late for your appointment so you can enjoy the same kind of wonderful blessing!
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Richard Gazowsky pastors a church in San Francisco called The Voice of Pentecost, and is also president of Christian WYSIWYG Filmworks. He has directed the films, “Guardians” and “The Roman Trilogy.”