We all know that on the road of life we can expect delays.
However when you are smack dab in the middle of one of the nation’s top 10 areas for growth it’s absolutely impossible to avoid delays.
Moving, expect delays. Building, expect delays. Construction, expect delays.
Just hearing the word delay makes me groan not giggle with glee. Yet James starts off his letter “whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy.” (James 1:1 NLT)
I worked for the country road commission in college one summer and had a day where I was the sign girl for traffic. I did not receive many gestures of joy when I was the one responsible for people’s delays.
Anytime there is movement, growth or building you can expect delays. After a move we can experience a delay in our home closing but also a delay in letting go of our past. When we begin to rebuild our relationships and experience a betrayal it can be as frustrating as a contractor who doesn’t show for a week.
We live in such a fast-paced, immediate culture, how do we shift from irate to elate when we encounter a delay?
- Expect delays. It isn’t a matter of if, it is a matter of when. Delays are a matter of fact not a what’s-the-matter freakout.
- Delays are meant to keep us safe. They provide time to either fix or avoid a bigger problem.
- Delays provide pause. If we trust God is sovereign over time we can use the pause of delay to take a breath, be positive, redirect, and pray. We can rest in the recognition that most things are just out of our control but everything is in His.
- Delays are temporary. The short term inconvenience is worth the long term results. Be it a widened road, a new business, or a remodeled kitchen keep looking forward to the future in the midst of today’s delay.
James says our delays are opportunities for joy, not to be confused with the emotion of happiness. Joy is a gift when we trust God in the delays.
James goes on to say “for when your faith is tested your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.” James 1:3-4
So as we grow, move and build, expect that strong character and the ability to handle what’s next is the benefit of finding joy in the delay.