The other day I was on the phone catching up with a good friend who now lives with this wife in Baton Rouge. He mentioned that the journey my family and I embarked upon over a year ago was still inspiring him. I asked why. He said, in a word, “perseverance.” We had not given up.
I thought about this for a bit. To be honest, this word was really encouraging. One of the great qualities that has defined the life and ministry of my parents is perseverance. What a quality! Granted, they persevered for years and years and years and I have not. And, in light of what so many Christians in the world are enduring, what my family and I have faced is hardly anything. I get that. But, though the quantity of disappointment may differ from one person to next, the quality is similar. As Solomon wrote ever so wisely, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12). However, he did not have the Holy Spirit living inside his heart. After all, the New Covenant in all of its glory was still in God’s womb.
In light of my friend’s comment, Psalms 105:19 came to mind:
“Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him.”
I could not help but think that when God deposits a promise, a direction, or a place in your heart, there are really only two ways in which to respond when you meet with that unwelcome friend called, “Delay.” They are listed below:
- You will start to believe that it was only “you.” In other words, you will interpret the “delay” to mean that you actually missed God. This is the moment that, either due to deep discouragement, anger, depression, hopelessness, or a sense of meaninglessness, you choose to abort what God had birthed inside of you. A baby takes nine months. Did you forget?
- Or, you will stand. You will keep declaring. You will stare into the abyss of nothingness, continue to grope (Acts 17:27), and like a bulldog, tenaciously keep biting down on that which God placed in your spirit. God works mightily in the clouds and fog. This is your greenhouse. What an opportunity for growth!
Which option will it be? Have you bought into the fast-food model of Christianity and aborted what God placed in you. The amazing thing about God is that he can replant that “child” into the womb of your spirit. He gives second chances. Will you walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Will Christ really find faith in your heart (Luke 18:8)?