Take last week, for example. I was on my way home when I looked down and saw that I had a new voice message from my friend. I figured it was about something that was going on at church or maybe one of our self-defense classes. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was a message from the previous Saturday right after he had completed the Warrior Dash! He was letting me know he'd survived (since I'd called checking to see how he'd done.) He also had some really good advice on how I could get over that first wall - you know...the one that I didn't make it over. Gee, I sure wish I'd gotten that message BEFORE I ran the race instead of a week later! But, as always, my phone decided to keep that message and just give it to me later...much later!
That got me to thinking about how thankful I am that God doesn't have to rely on voicemail to get His message to me! When I am worried about hearing from God, I have to remind myself that God not only knows the last thing He told you; He knows the last thing you HEARD and UNDERSTOOD.
As a teacher, I have had days when I was teaching and I could tell that while my students LOOKED like they were listening, they just weren't getting it. I didn't just throw up my hands and say, "Well, I told them. I sure hope they understood." No, I kept telling them again and again in different ways until I saw that "light" go on in their eyes.
If I, a flawed human, can tell when my students need me to repeat something, how much more does God see and know when we need something repeated? He loves us and guides us when we seek Him! He knows when we understand and when we to hear it again.
With my cell phone, something kept the message from getting through. The same thing can happen when we pray. There's even a story in the Bible about a time when God sent a message to someone but it was delayed by the "enemy." Daniel 10 tells the story.
Daniel 10:12-14 "'Relax, Daniel,' he continued, 'don't be afraid. From the moment you decided to humble yourself to receive understanding, your prayer was heard, and I set out to come to you. But I was waylaid by the angel-prince of the kingdom of Persia and was delayed for a good three weeks. But then Michael, one of the chief angel-princes, intervened to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia. And now I'm here to help you understand what will eventually happen to your people. The vision has to do with what's ahead.'
I have to be honest; I just figured my friend hadn't gotten my message, or he was simply too busy to answer. I often assume that of God as well. Yet, like my friend, God DOES respond - even if I don't "get it" right away. God also knows when I didn't get the message because I didn't understand, or because it was delayed by the enemy or simply not heard because of how loud life can be sometimes.
Just like with my messed up cell phone, even though messages from God can be delayed....the message is still on its way. Unlike my phone message, the messages from God won't come "too late" to be of any help! God knows what you need and when you need it. The message will be right on time. Now to figure out how to get over that wall.