“Delay is denial”, so goes the popular axiom. We also say, “justice delayed is justice denied.” Though this is true to a considerable extent in a worldly sense, the opposite is true in God’s Kingdom.
Some examples from the Bible illustrate this point. Priest Zachariah and Elizabeth were righteous people in a way that pleased God. However, God delayed their prayers for a child until they were “advanced in years!” That was quite a long time, though we don’t know how long it was. Then when God’s own time came for them to have a child, an angel appeared to him in the sanctuary where he was on divine service and announced the arrival of the long-awaited son. Though the promise of a son was given, it took some more time for Elizabeth to be conceived, after her husband returned from his priestly duties in Jerusalem. It took another nine months for the baby to arrive! It was a miracle but a long-drawn miracle. Quite different from the instant ones that we expect to have. God’s delay was not denial. Lazarus was sick and Jesus knew that. But Jesus did not immediately spring into action. He waited till Lazarus died and another four days for his body to stink! He delayed his visit to heal his sick friend; he delayed visiting his grieving sisters. Ungrateful it may appear to be. However, the delay was not a denial. He came right on time so that a healing is now a rising. We delayed till the body stank, because he wanted to turn the stinking and the sickness to wholeness. His delay was not denial at all. The longer the delay great is the miracle.