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August 2015

Dealing With Delay

Woe is me that I dwell in Meshech… Psalm 120:5a

Have you ever been in a hurry to get somewhere and encountered snarling, snail-paced traffic? It is the worst. It causes your blood to boil and emotions to be thrown off. You feel like Michael Douglas in the movie Falling Down. I am not recommending that you watch the film at all (in fact don’t bother). In the story there is a man named William Foster who is stuck in a traffic jam, who abandons his car and walks across Los Angeles to get to his daughter’s birthday party. After encountering one obstacle after another, he finally snaps and lashes out violently. Not cool. If anything it is a picture of what the congestion of a traffic jam feels like.

Dealing With Delay

Traffic is a type of congestion that causes you to move slower than your intended speed. You can’t control it. You are subject to it. Traffic causes a delay in where you are going and how long it takes you to get there. You timed it. The app said it would take 12 minutes to get there, but you didn’t have the “show traffic” option set and this trip has turned into a one hour jaunt. And now you are in a hurry. Trying to reroute. Looking for side roads. Or maybe you planned your life out. You had a good picture of what it would look like. I will be here and do this and that and be married to so and so, with three kids, a six figure job with a corner office with a view, own a large home in the suburbs, have a dog and a cat all in no more than four years time, but for reasons beyond your control it has turned into ten years and you feel like you are not even half way there. But you have been busy. Busy lives, busy times, busy minds, busy lines. Busy doing who knows what for so, so long. You feel like you are running fast on a treadmill, but going no where and gaining no ground. Let me encourage you, your time on that contraption was not in vain. God will use that.

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In Psalm 120, the first song of ascent, David makes an interesting statement that is easy to miss. He says, “Woe is me that I dwell in Meshech.” Ok. Sounds like David doesn’t like going there. Must not be his favorite place to visit. Meshech. Never heard of it. It is easy to pass by this verse and move on to the next one. But there is something very profound about the name of this location. Meshech in the Hebrew language means to delay, to postpone, to be stiffled, to prolong or to defer. Basically, David is saying, “It is not cool whenever I experience the delay of a traffic jam.” Or even more plain, “I hate to be held up. I don’t like to go there. Meshech is not on my list of places to visit.”

Dealing With Delay

But if you listen to the tone of the song you realize that David knows what he is talking about. He is singing these lyrics as if he has been to Meshech many times before. He knows the woes, the traps and the snares of this city. David understands that there are some places, people, and projects that swallow up our time, clog up our lives, suck up our money, steal away from our relationships, suppress our creativity and absorb all of our energy. David says, “I learned long ago that there are some roads that I have got on that God never told me to get on and some places I have gone that God never told me to go to.” In other words, “I have learned the hard way called delay and the only way I am going to go from now on is God’s way.” David speaks of delay from experience.

Dealing With Delay

It is true that there are some unavoidable delays in life. Oftentimes God sets us in times and seasons where we need to sit and rest and learn for awhile. But then there are some roads we chose to go on all by ourselves. It is not God. It is not the devil. It is all us. There are some places we chose to dwell in. The key word of this verse is dwell. It means to stay, to live, to put your tent pegs down and to be there for awhile. Meshech is a place you might have to go through once in a while because your travel plans take you through it, but you don’t have to actually stay there. Not one minute. Not one day. In Psalm 23 David said it like this, “Even though I go THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” You were not meant to stay in the valley, but to go through it. It is not permanent. It is temporary. So is Meshech. I can’t get comfortable in delay. I will not stay in delay. It might be for a season, but it is not for a lifetime. “Woe is me that I dwell in Meshech.”

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If somehow you have obtained an address in Meshech (delay or postponement) and have an apartment there, there is hope. You don’t have to stay here any longer. There is a song for you. Its the first song of ascent. The songs of ascent are Psalm 120-134. They were the songs of the people of Israel who made a pilgrimage from their hometown’s and village’s to the Temple in Jerusalem each year. When they finally arrived at the steps of the Temple they would climb 15 stairs. On each stair they stop and would sing the song that was associated with that step and then go to the next and stop and sing the next song and so on. 15 stairs. 15 stops. 15 songs. The first song or the first step dealt with this issue called delay. If I am going to go any higher in this journey to the Temple (God’s House) than where I am then I must deal with dwelling in delay. Delay happens, but delay doesn’t have to stay.

Dealing With Delay

I love that on the onset of these chapters in in the book of Psalms (120-134) on the very first step the very first song deals with this thing we all go through called delay. Delay is something we all encounter in life in one way or another. The revelation is this: delay is a classroom of epic proportions. You might as well take this class for credit, because you can get your doctorate degree in Delay-ology pretty easy while walking with God. Noah knew delay. It took him 120 years to build the ark that God told him to build. Abraham and Sarah knew delay. When he was 100 and she has 90 they gave birth to Isaac. Isaac and Rebekah knew delay. They waited 20 years before having children. Jacob knew delay. He waited and worked for 14 years to get Rachel, the wife he loved. Joseph knew delay. When he had a dream Joseph went through many years in the pit of betrayal, the house of accusation, and the prison of being forgotten before he saw the dream fulfilled. Moses knew delay. He waited in the wilderness for 40 years watching sheep before he went back to Egypt to deliver God’s people. Joshua knew delay. He waited 40 years wandering in the wilderness before he had the opportunity to enter into the Promised Land. Jesus knew delay. He waited 30 years of His 33 1/2 year life before he began His earthly ministry. They all could have stayed in delay, but instead they waited and waited until God turned it around. They all had a word from God and remembered when God speaks His word it will not return void, but will accomplish what He sent it out to do. And as for you, I have news for you, it is your turn. You got next! It is time to become at doctor of Delay-ology. This delay is not to hurt you, but to promote you into a place in God’s purpose that you would not be able to get to but through delay.

Dealing With Delay

Understand a few key things about delay. It is difficult while you are in it, but in delay you learn about your God and about yourself. Delay is where we learn to trust God, even when our life and our circumstances just don’t make sense. Delay is where we learn to submit to God because He is the only one in this picture who is in the past, the present and the future all at the same time and He knows what is best for our lives. Delay is where we learn to rest in God, even when we are surrounded by noise and chaos. Imagine, being in a traffic jam and being at complete rest. You are not trippin! You are not anxious. God knew you would encounter it before you ever got there. (Siri did to, but that is beside the point.) But instead of panicking or getting upset, like you have in the past, you need to do what Bobby McFerrin says, “Don’t worry be happy!” I have really, really good news for you, delay won’t last forever. It is temporary. You will get out of this. This might be a bump in the road. It might seem overwhelming, but don’t be overwhelmed. There is a bright future ahead of you. Even if it seems like you are going in a different direction than you previously planned, you will get there because God, your God, is in charge of this journey and not you. Thank you Jesus!

In grace, Patrick Kiteley

Twitter – @patrickkiteley  Instagram – @patrickkiteley  LinkedIn – Patrick Kiteley


Follow-Through-Enter-Into:

Personally: Name one area in your life where you have experienced delay? (Confide)

Practically: Make a decision to make a change in this area of your life. (Decide)

Prayerfully: Father God, I ask you today to give me David’s resolve concerning this place called Meshech. I need you, Holy Spirit, to give me the strength to move away from delay. I take the first step up into a new life in You. Please help me God, because I want to learn how to trust, submit and to rest in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen! (Applied)


Scripture Reading: Psalm 120

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Are We There Yet?

It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. – Hebrews 11:8 (NLT)

Have you ever asked the question, “Are we there yet?” It is the famous family road trip question. Every family has experienced this amazing, non-stop inquiry in one form or fashion. It is a childlike phrase of frustration. You want to get there. Even if you don’t know where there is…you want to be there. It is exciting and at the same time it is exhausting. You are waiting and waiting and…are we there yet? The question is ok the first 20 times…then it gets…well…annoying. It is Donkey’s favorite question in the movie Shrek 2, as he, Shrek and Fiona are traveling to Far, Far Away Land. Repeatedly Donkey interrogated them on the proximity of their destination with a tiny, little, bothersome four worded question, “Are we there yet?” Donkey wouldn’t stop annoying them until Shrek finally says, “Yes.” Donkey yells out, “Really?” Shrek answers, “NO!”

Are we there yet? 

Have you ever asked God, “Are we there yet?” I am sure you have. Many, many times throughout our journey in life we do what kids do to their parents in the car, we ask God the same question over and over again, “Are we there yet?” Why do we do that? Because we want to know where we are and when we will get there, and truthfully we don’t like one major part in this thing called: waiting to get there. No one likes waiting. Why can’t we just get Scotty (for the Star Trek fans) to instantly beam us from our house to wherever we are going…right now? If we can work out a deal where we can just get there as quickly as possible with no lines, no traffic, no congestion, no waiting…just boom and we are there…that would be nice. Sometimes we ask nicely yet demandingly, “Hey God, can you get me a fast pass to the front of the line. I don’t like waiting.

Are we there yet? 

Waiting is the place where we learn this rather strange thing that is contrary to our human nature called patience. Patience is the place where we learn to endure what is uncomfortable with self-control and a good attitude. In other words, I could go off right now and lose my temper, but that would not be fruitful or helpful, so instead I will wait with a smile (you can do it) and pray until something happens (P.U.S.H.). Patience is listed as a part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5. The Bible reveals to us that patience is an inward working of the Holy Spirit that leads me to a definite personal choice that I will wait as long as God wants me to wait. And in that process, although sometimes it might be long, I learn the treasures and the measures and the pleasures of waiting. Patience escorts me to a dimension in God where I become as James said, “perfect (mature), entire and wanting nothing.” That is the place where you come to say: it’s might have been difficult to bear, but it’s worth it all.  

Are we there yet? 

Imagine you are Abraham in the book of Genesis. You are in your comfort zone. You are living your life. You are quite successful in your field of work. In fact you are the wealthiest person in the country. You have a beautiful wife. You are close to your family. You could say that life is pretty good and that is when God shows up. Let me tell you something about when God shows up. When God shows up anything can happen because you have entered the dimension where everything is possible. When God shows up your life changes…for the better. God did not intend for your life to be just pretty good. His desire, before you were born, is that your life would be abundant and overflowing with greatness. You were born for more than just existing as another being on the planet. You have a purpose. When you are living at a level that is under your purpose, oftentimes, that is when God shows up. He will never be satisfied with mediocre or mundane for your life and neither should you. The beautiful thing is He doesn’t show up to smack you around and tell you that you are missing it. God shows up to nudge you toward greatness.

Are we there yet?

Imagine you are Abraham living a pretty good life and God arrives to introduce you to something greater and better and stranger than anything you could ever imagine. God says, “Abe, here is what I want you to do. Get your wife. Pack your stuff. Hop on the camels. I am going to bless you. I am going to multiply you. I am giving you a land for your inheritance. A new nation is going to be birthed out of you. It’s going to be so cool. So, go.” Abraham says, “Sounds good, God. I will do it.” And that is when God drops the bomb, “Oh yeah! One more thing. I am NOT going to tell you where you are going, just believe me and go.” What? This is wonderful and terrible at the same time. Blessings. Multiplying. Inheritance. Nations. Cool! But God wants me to pack all of my stuff and go out without knowing where I am going? No map. No GPS. No road signs. Just go!

Are we there yet? 

The Bible reveals to us that “by faith Abraham obeyed.” This is the wildest, craziest kind of faith that one can have. This is the type of faith that pleases God. Abraham went. He did it. He obeyed God’s word even though he didn’t understand it. This was the very moment that Abraham’s life moved from being pretty good to exceeding abundantly, above all that you could ask, think or dream. Get this: in the going was the blessing. When he decided to depart that is when he got a new start. There was a long journey ahead of him. In fact many years, fears and tears were in front of him, but it was in the first step out of the comfort zone that the blessing of God rested on his life. He was going to ask God the question, “Are we there yet?,” a million times along the way, but he had to make a personal choice in every step of the journey that I will wait as long as God wants me to wait. I will not lose heart. I will not give in or give up, even if I don’t know where I am going. God knows. He is already there. So my stance is, I will wait patiently by faith because I know that God is ushering me into a greater place, according to His original intention for my life.

Are we there yet? 

The encouragement for you is this: You might not know all the details of the journey you are on (all of your starts and stops, all of your opportunities and oppositions), but know that patience and faith are the things that are going to not only get you through, but also get you there, especially when you are asking the question at hand, “Are we there yet?”

In great grace, Patrick Kiteley


Twitter – @patrickkiteley  Instagram – @patrickkiteley  LinkedIn – Patrick Kiteley


Follow-Through-Enter-Into:  

Personally: In what areas in your life do you struggle with patience? (Confide)

Practically: Today, what one thing can you do to be more patient with someone or something that you are dealing with in your life? (Decide)

Prayerfully: Father God, I ask you today to give me the type of patience that Abraham had. I know you are here to help me not just to get through it, but, like Abraham, to get to what you have ordained for my life. I want to, without hesitation, obey you by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!  (Applied)


Scripture Reading: Genesis 15:1-5, Hebrews 11:8-16

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