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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Delayed Reactions

Geranium budding

By Marcia Lee Laycock

I’m a delayed reaction kind of person. I seem to take things in all quickly, all in one swoop, but it takes a while before anything comes back out. It’s often weeks before my will, emotions, and brain kick in and something results. This was particularly frustrating when I was in school and the quick-witted would make fun of me or maliciously attack. The words that would come days later were often equal to the enemy both in cynicism and cruelty. I’m glad, now, that they were never uttered.

This delayed reaction thing is also frustrating as a writer. I once spent ten days traveling to Greece and Israel, touring sites from Mars Hill to the Temple Mount. The days were full of stunning sites and moments that literally caused me to gasp. There were also some moments that caused me to moan. But as I sat down to write about them, there seemed to be a block. Things hadn’t settled enough yet. The images and feelings were all still too raw. I knew from experience that it would take time and I must be patient. Rushing into it would result in writing that was half-baked and shallow. Like picking a flower before it has fully bloomed. To truly get to the meat of things, I had to wait.

In writing, as in most things in life, timing is everything.

And that’s where I have to rely on God. I ask Him to give me the words, and to nudge me at the right moment, when those words are ready to be put on a page. In the meantime I content myself with jottings as the images come back and the emotions are resurrected. I sort my photos and skim my journal. And wait.

Often God seems to specialize in delayed reactions. I petition Him in prayer but the answer doesn’t appear right away. I get frustrated, sometimes even angry. There is a danger at that point, that I may react, take action on my own. I speak from experience when I say the results are usually disastrous. It is then I must remember 2Peter 3:9 – “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Timing is everything – His timing, not mine. Trusting that He has it all under control isn’t easy. I’m a lot like Martha, who accused Jesus of not caring enough to be there in time to cure her brother. But Jesus did care. He cared enough to not only resurrect Lazarus back to life, but to reveal the true identity of the One who raised him. Mary and Martha knew Jesus but they did not understand His resurrection power until they saw it with their own eyes.

And that’s the meat of the story – the deep, vital core – knowing Jesus in all his glory is worth everything, all the frustration, all the tears, all the anguish. And then we hear Him whisper – “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was short listed in The Word Awards. Marcia also has three devotional books in print and has contributed to several anthologies, including the Hot Apple Cider books. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.
Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for writers can be downloaded on Smashwords or on Amazon. It is also now available in Journal format on Amazon. 

Her most recent release is A Traveler’s Advisory, Stories of God’s Grace Along the Way.

Sign up to receive her devotional column, The Spur


  1. Yes! Timing IS everything. This is a great post. I tend to take in too much and then let it fester for awhile, which has caused high blood pressure and anxiety. The good news is that I am relying more and more on God's peace to get me through things. My motto now is "Let go and let God".
    Blessing to you!

  2. "There is a danger at that point, that I may react, take action on my own." Yes. How well I know this, also from experience. Thanks for the reminder that God has it all under control.


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