Why God Waits

imagesA few thoughts about God’s delays…

This past Sunday our pastor preached out of Revelation 10. It’s a dreadful passage, filled with images that strike awe-filled terror.

Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land, and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded. … And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven  and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay. (Rev 10:1-3, 5-6 ESV)

Can you even imagine witnessing such a scene? The description of this angel sounds more like Jesus – a being so huge that clouds and rainbows surround his head and his face shines like the sun while he stands on two pillars of fire that are his legs. But it’s not Jesus. It’s a “mighty angel.”

I know Revelation is mainly symbolic but I can’t even picture an angel who has one foot on land and another on sea. Sort of dwarfs Jack in the Beanstalk or King Kong.

His appearance is frightening enough, but his message is what throws me to the ground – “There will be no more delay.” Some translations say, “Time will no longer be.”

Yay! Isn’t this what we’ve all be waiting for? Finally! All the confusion will end. The injustice, the black hearts that devise ways to torture and kill. Abuse, addiction, rape. All of it – over at last.


Beam Me Up?

I started thinking about those who are still undecided about following Christ. Or those who hardly even know his name except as a curse. No more time for them. No grace extended  for them to think differently.

When I pray “Let the delay be over” is it not a selfish prayer?

For when that angel steps out in our universe, with one toe touching earth and the other dipping in the sea, it will all come to a screeching halt. The delay will be over, but so will grace for mankind to repent. That will end too.

Because he is kind and longsuffering, he delays so those who are still out can come in. Does it mean we have extra time on our end to endure, to be uncomfortable, to see terrible things up close and personal? Yes.

But if we have developed the character of Christ – which is the whole point more or less of our stay – we endure the delay with joy. It is our joy to honor him.

It all simmers down to trust. That’s how we honor him best. Accepting the delays of God come with deep trust in the one who knows the times and seasons. We trust his timing. That he’ll know when the last sheep comes in the fold and when to release the angel with that dreadful message.

Time shall be no more.

The delay is over.

Does this mean we don’t long for his return? No, it doesn’t mean that at all. Like the five virgins in the parable, we keep our wicks trimmed and our lamps full. Waiting, ready, hopeful, letting the Spirit keep us focused. We still have work to do.

Our only position in the meantime is summed up in this old chorus:

But until then my heart will go on singing

Until then with joy I’ll carry on

Until the day my eyes behold the city

Until the day God calls me home.





  1. Your timing is perfect for this piece. We are not here for our comfort, we are here for His glory. We have a responsibility which Jesus gave us in the Great Commission. Thanks for making sense of it all.

  2. My wick is trimmed, my lamp is full and I am on a mission. So excited for each day to see where the Lord will lead and how He will use me. That is the thrill of knowing Him! P.S. there is much work yet to be done. Get crackin’ I say!

  3. I too heard the serman about the angel. It really opened my eyes, am I really ready? Has everyone heard? Am I doing my job? Then I thought about the kids who come to STR8UP youth ministry. Many, many had not heard the news about Jesus Christ; they would have been lost. Sammy Telesco is doing a great job teaching them about Jesus. Many have accepted Him to be their personal Savior.

    Until the day He calls us………

  4. Good word, Cathee.
    We are so near the mystery of God being finished, I can hear the seventh trumpet and the voices in heaven saying, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ. But I do not look to be beamed up to heaven. I look for heaven to be beamed down on earth. Then Jesus will have destroyed all the works of the devil with death being the last work to be destroyed. All mankind that ever lived on earth will be delivered from the bondage of corruption of the devil. God’ s angels will remove all the tares that pose as human beings but are devils in disguise. Then shall all the sons of God, the wheat, shine as the sun in God’ s Holy kingdom ON EARTH. It will all happen in the twinkling of an eye and we will have no memory of waiting or enduring.

  5. Not just mankind but all creation will be delivered from the bondage of corruption of the devil as Romans 8:20-23 indicates. Amen

  6. Cathee, this is beautiful. It is our joy to wait for God’s timing. But sometimes that’s not in the forefront of our thinking. Thanks for the sweet reminder. And wow, the blog looks fantastic.

  7. Wonderful reminder to trust the timing of our Lord’s return. In the mean time, what JOY we have in putting on the full armor of the Lord daily to fight the good fight so that the Lord, thy God reigns in our daily activities. We fight against principalities now but all too soon we will no longer have to wrestle with darkness. Until then, I simply ‘Trust in the Lord with all my heart and do not lean on my own understanding…” Proverbs 3. Thanks for your powerful words from the Lord.

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