Janice is currently 40 weeks and 5 days pregnant, and our baby was due on Christmas 2018. As we were going through Advent, we anticipated the arrival of our first daughter. As the new year came to a close, we questioned whether she was even going to come in 2018. Even as I write this now on the 2nd of January, there is still no sign of baby S. Babies who are overdue can have complications, so we waited and prayed through the anxieties that rose up. That’s when I realized miracles sometimes come late. Uncomfortably late. What do you do when God’s miracles come later than you expect?
Upon reflection, God’s miracles often come late. I grew up in church my whole life, yet the miracle of salvation only reached me as I turned 21 when I was strung out on drugs. I prayed desperately for God to come into my messy life as it spiraled out of control. Yet, God sovereignly allowed me to hit rock bottom(s). I’ve asked God desperately for opportunities and breakthroughs in my personal life. Yet, I lost count of how many doors that closed. The miracles of God often come late, and well beyond their due date. You may feel like God isn’t answering your prayers, but delays are actually wonderful blessings in disguise.
The story of Jairus’ daughter reveals a man desperate for the healing of his only daughter. Jesus agrees to help him in Luke 8:40-56. However, the story takes a turn when Jesus gets stuck in a crowd. The bleeding woman in her own desperate situation seeks Jesus and holds up the entourage. On the way to Jairus’ miracle, Jairus experiences someone else’s. What do you do when others get their prayer answered and your’s is still in queue? This woman got her own healing in the crowd. But to make matters worse, Jairus’ daughter died from the delay that was caused.
Delays bring some of the greatest pains in our life. The delay brought death in Jairus’ life. However, there was a hidden blessing there. A gem of faith is hidden in today’s story. Jesus immediately looked to Jairus and said, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well” (Luke 8:50). Jesus was setting Jairus up for a miracle that came late, but one that would also bring profound blessing.
Overdue miracles do three things in our lives. First, they allow us to see others. You’re able to see that there are others with serious situations around us. Jairus witnessed this bleeding woman’s healing. She was bleeding for the same amount of years as his daughter was alive. God often allows us the opportunity to celebrate another’s miracle in the place of waiting for ours. The reason is that it’s so easy to become fixated on my own issues and problems, and it consumes my world. How important it is to have a faith sees beyond even our painful circumstances to be present with those around us!
Secondly, delays give opportunity for our faith to grow. In delay, our character is challenged. Will you continue to trust God’s goodness even when he seems silent? Hardship offers us an opportunity to exercise our faith in ways that swiftly answered prayers cannot offer us. To trust in God through the silence is what builds mature faith that is as pure as gold.
Lastly, overdue miracles fully display God’s glory. When death settles in, when our urgent matters fizzle out, what remains is a sense of loss. In our human perspective, we have missed the opportunity to overcome our situation. Many times, God allows our situations to die, so that there will be no competition for his glory. Only God can raise a dead situation to life, and only God can restore broken and fragmented relationships that are beyond repair. When God brings restoration, it is undeniably God alone. There is no room to share in his glory when what is dead is resurrected to life.
As you begin this year, I want to speak over every dead and overdue situation in your life. What seems to be a delay is only an opportunity for God to receive glory through your life. It’s a golden opportunity for your faith to grow, and for you to see those around you in selfless love. As you enter 2019, endure in your prayer life, trust God even in your most frustratingly silent seasons, and God will bring wonderful and decisive victories in your life in his perfect timing for His glory. Bless you!
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