When God is Intentionally Late

Photo by Pema Lama.

When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream…

Genesis 41:1

After two full years, something significant happens. Pharaoh had a dream. This story has to do with Joseph than it has to do with Pharaoh. Genesis 40:23 says, “Yet the Chief cupbearer did not remember him.

And after two full years, the story continues… Pharaoh had a dream.”

Joseph had been in prison for a while, we are not told exactly how long. When Joseph interprets the dream of the cupbearer and the baker, something in him is ignited. A new hope is ignited that God was finally going to get him out of prison, but things don’t work out as he had hoped.

Hope deferred

Joseph after interpreting the dreams of the cupbearer and the baker had a renewed hope of getting out of prison. (Genesis 40) He probably had a revelation that God was going to use the cupbearer to get him out. (He was right but God had a different plan).

When the cupbearer got out of prison, Joseph looked out day after day( full of hope) for the day the guard would call him and tell him he has been released. However, two years passed and nothing came, the cupbearer had forgotten about him. God hadn’t opened the door and Joseph remained in prison.

The disappointment he must have felt. The questions that must have filled his mind. We are not told how Joseph kept his faith but we know he did because he got to the time that God had set for him and was able to get out of prison.

When hope is crushed, the heart is crushed, but a wish come true fills you with joy. Proverbs 13:12 GNT

When something we eagerly expected doesn’t happen, our response is to feel disappointed. We can give into despair. But this is not what Joseph does. He strengthens himself and made the choice to keep waiting on God. God was going to be faithful even though there wasn’t much in his life to prove this. Joseph is able to stand firm in faith and hope in this trying moment in his life.

What will we do when we feel like we are on the edge of a breakthrough and nothing changes? Will we choose to trust in His timing or will we trust in ours? Will we choose to stand firm in faith or will we despair?

God wasn’t late

To Joseph, it seemed as if God was late. Joseph was sure that when the cupbearer got out, he would follow him out too.

I have found myself in a similar place. In 2020, something I had been waiting for came to fruition. I was ecstatic, God was doing what He had promised. I began to see the doors open for me. I remember being skeptical because everything was working out as I had hoped. It looked too good to be true. I had walked with God long enough to know I was missing something. Things seemed to be moving swiftly and easily…then it stopped. I was so disappointed I felt like God had set me up to fail.

The door I had been waiting for shut in my face. The huge(incredibly huge) financial resource I needed for this door didn’t come in time and the other doors that had opened closed. They were dependent upon this resource. The pandemic had happened and this affected what was supposed to happen at this time in my life.

(As I waited I realized, God had allowed these doors to open to give me hope that He was going to do it. These miracles fueled my heart to keep believing even when I couldn’t see it for a while).

I was so sure that it was time for transition. Now I was faced with the choice of walking around in despair or strengthening myself with His word. I chose the latter. Yet, even though this thing seemed late, God was still speaking about it and encouraging my heart to keep on waiting. He was giving me a word to carry me through this time.

As I write this now, it’s been exactly two years and I’m still waiting on God for this. It is still as fresh in my heart as it was in 2020, and I still believe God will finish what He started.

Whatever you have been waiting for in God is not late, even when it seems late. God has never been subject to human clocks, and when He does it will be as if it never delayed.

What is in front of you?

Joseph had two more years to continue serving in prison and that’s exactly what he does. He did what was in front of him and kept doing it until God changed his season.

As I have waited for two more years. At first, I didn’t know if I had any more faith to keep waiting for this thing (Iwas exhausted by other things in my life). I could have wasted time complaining about this thing being late, or I could get to work and do what was in front of me.

I remember in 2020, God was speaking to me about starting something. I thought, “Wrong word God! You need to make this happen!” God in His patience spoke to me again. I was supposed to start something and work on it as I waited for His promise over my life. I had my own plans and ideas. I thought this (thing) needed to happen so I can do what He has called me to do. I am learning God’s intentionality. There is a reason I needed to do what I have been doing for the last two years. When seasons change God will just build on what I have been doing in the waiting.

While Joseph was in prison (without his knowledge) he was preparing for the next season. What he was doing while in prison was imperative to how well he was going to steward what was next.

So whatever God has you doing while you wait, it is important. God has a plan for you and will bring it to pass. We have to remember we are not on human clocks, we are on a divine clock. God is able to turn back the clock for what has passed or turn it forward to catch us up with time lost. We don’t have to worry.

The promise may not be ready

Even though Joseph might have been ready, the promise wasn’t quite ready. Joseph needed Pharaoh to dream. He needed Pharaoh to have a problem that only he could solve. It also could be God needed to prepare Pharaoh’s heart concerning Joseph.

After two years, God gave Pharaoh a dream, and in the sequence of events, the chief cupbearer remembered Joseph. Joseph was able to leave the prison into what God had been preparing him for.

Things had worked out according to God’s plan, not Joseph’s.

God could be keeping you waiting because He is arranging the things that need to work in your favor. He is turning some hearts in your favor. He is bringing your name to remembrance to people who have long forgotten about you.

We can be encouraged by Joseph, that even when it took two years longer, he still continued to trust God. He held onto faith that God was faithful. Eventually, the appointed season came, and what he had been waiting for was fulfilled.

God wasn’t late; He was right on time, even when it seemed as if He was late.

2 thoughts on “When God is Intentionally Late

  1. I am always in awe of faith like Joseph, to go through all that he went through and have his faith steadfast is incredible.
    I have never looked at the first instance as a sense of hope for Joseph and also in your story. I always think it is not the right time but to also view those times as snippet of what is to come is a great perspective to have and very encouraging.
    A good post Lucy. Blessings 🙏🏽💐

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know right? I always go back to his story in seasons where I’m tempted to throw a pity party or to complain😆. I look at his life and think if he can trust God in that, I can too!

    Yeah, sometimes the things we don’t think worked out we’re a snippet of what God is preparing for us. It’s like God sending us a door of hope.

    Thank you Manu! Be blessed ❤️


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