Most of us know people who are always late for appointments, and I don’t know about you, but it kind of irks me when that happens.  It seems they are only about themselves and have no regard for the inconvenience they cause others. But what about GOD when HE seems to be late showing up?

Perhaps we need to define “late”.  I remember one of our past Presidents said when he was being investigated, “That depends what your definition of “is”, is.” Ok, then we will give God the benefit of the doubt and let HIM define “late”.  We have to remember something here, and that is that God is not bound by time, and “time” as we know it is only for mankind’s benefit.  Having ministered in foreign countries, some people in other parts of the world have no concept of “time” as we know it.  They show up for worship services when they are ready to, and they don’t wear watches.  You might be lucky to even get them to show up on the correct day.  So I must learn to be “flexible” when it comes to time.

So, when we pray and ask God for something, when do we need it?  Usually when we pray, right?  Normally when we pray, we are not putting it on a schedule, say, two months out.  But what if God decides to answer in two months instead of NOW?  Is He late?  Well, this I would say, God is seldom early, but He is never late; at least not according to HIS watch.  I remember years ago having a dire need for money to pay a bill by a certain date.  Well, it didn’t come on time, and therefore the bill was paid late.  I reminded God that I had prayed plenty in advance of the time, and He was well….LATE!

You know, sometimes you can hear from God IMMEDIATELY, IF NOT SOONER, and this was one of those times.  He simply said to me, Your watch runs fast. My reply was, LORD, my watch is a certified chronometer, and it does not run fast. He replied, Your watch runs fast according to MY time. Ok, or rather, OOOPS!  I stand corrected.  Well, that was the beginning of my lessons on whether God is ever late or not.  After all these years my findings are, God is seldom early, but never late.

What about those suffering in misery with sickness, and they have had hands laid on for healing, the prayer of faith prayed over them, and the conditions met as we know it?  We expect God to do for us even as He did for Christ Jesus concerning healing for the sick, that is, right now, not some time off in the distant future.  Jesus didn’t teach His disciples to expect healing for those they ministered to “sometime in the sweet by-and-by”.  No, things happened right then.  We can read about it in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and Acts.  So, is God in “another time zone” now, so as to cause long delays in answer to requests for healing?  As we would say, “What’s up?”

Are we praying out of faith, or out of fear?  Are we praying for the will of God to be done?  It’s easy to cop out if someone is not healed and say, “Well, it must not have been God’s will to heal them…..” All we have to do is have a hard look at the ministry of Christ Jesus and we will readily see it IS God’s will to heal the sick.  Christ Jesus never refused to heal ANYONE who asked, not even one.  And He taught His disciples to heal the sick, giving them not only the authority to cure diseases, but the COMMAND in Matthew 10:8 to “Heal the sick”.  He didn’t say, Pray for the sick, or Hope they get well, or Beg for their healing.  Here, let’s look at what He really said:  Mat 10:8  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Ok, what part of that do we not understand?  Using the phrase, “That depends what your definition of “is”, is”, what part of freely ye have received, freely give do we not understand?

Again, if we know it is God’s will to heal, and we have been given the command to minister healing, when should we expect that healing to occur?  Personally, I expect it immediately.  But I also will keep in mind that MY timing may not be God’s timing.  Is that an excuse for “not now” if I don’t see results immediately?  No, but it humbles me to remember where I am and where God is.  I am a man on earth at God’s mercy.  God is at nobody’s mercy, He does as He wills, when He wills, according to HIS timing.  And that may not agree with my way of thinking, but who am I to tell God what He will do?  If you read the book of Job, you will see God asking Job where he was when He laid the foundations of the earth.  Job got the idea, and so do I.

If YOU find yourself in this same situation, just remember God’s faithfulness.  He is looking for our eternal good, and we are usually looking for our “now” good, and they seldom agree with each other.  Our physical body wants to be “comfortable”, and God offers the “Comforter”, namely the Holy Spirit to get us through those times.  Often, God uses these “delays” to draw us closer to Him, where otherwise we would be back to our busy lives, going about our business, and not paying much attention to God at all.  Believe me, God wants our attention.  That’s why He says we will find Him if we seek Him with all our heart.  Most of the time we seek God only if we NEED something, but the reality is, we need to seek Him even when we DON’T need anything.  When we are in dire need, THAT is when we seek Him the most, and God uses those needs to draw us closer to Him.  Sometimes we are not comfortable with that, but God knows what He is doing. After all, He made all the creation without any help from us whatsoever.  Remember, we are the “creation”, not the Creator.

There is someone very dear to me who is believing for their healing each and every day, and they are suffering very much, and it hurts me immensely to see them suffering, but apparently for reasons unknown to them or me,  God is choosing not to be early in this case.  But I will not lose faith, for I know God is faithful to His Word.  We will yet rejoice together, for God is seldom early, but never late.  And He will get all the praise and glory!