Romans 1:13 “Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.”

Several years ago, I was taking a flight from Seattle back home, when I received a message from the airlines that my flight had been canceled. It was not just canceled to a later time that day, but they couldn’t get me on another flight until the next morning. Yes, I was quite a bit frustrated just like most people would be. To my shame, I grumbled a bit and was quite a bit frustrated with the airline until I found out why I was delayed.

The reason I was delayed was because God had something for me to do the next day that I would not have been able to do had I been on my original flight. When I got on my flight the next morning, I sat by a young man who quickly fell asleep. About three-quarters of the way through the flight, he woke up which gave me an opportunity to talk to him. In my conversation, I was able to bring up the Gospel and his need for a Saviour which resulted in him accepting Christ as his Saviour. The whole reason I was delayed was so that this young man could get saved, which resulted in me gaining fruit.

In the verse above, Paul said that he was “let” so that he “might have some fruit” among these Gentiles. The word “let” means to be hindered. Paul realized that his delay was so that he could get the Gospel out to more people. Instead of being frustrated with not being able to leave, Paul took it as an opportunity to continue to witness to these people, which resulted in more people being saved. Had his schedule not been hindered, many people would not have been saved.

When your schedule is messed up, you must take it to heart that God inconvenienced your schedule so that you can have fruit among those you are around. If you believe in the providence of God, you would understand that nothing happens on accident with God. Every delay in what you are doing is God’s providential hand delaying you so that you can help someone else. When you believe that God is in control, you will see delays as an opportunity instead of a hindrance.

Moreover, don't be so focused on what you are trying to do that you miss what God is trying to do by inconveniencing your schedule. If you are very focused on what you are trying to do, any little hindrance can frustrate you immensely. I have learned throughout the years that every little hindrance that God sends my way is for the sake of someone else to be helped. If you focus on the inconvenience, you will miss the opportunity that God has for you to help someone else. If you complain instead of looking for the opportunity to help others, you will miss why God inconvenienced your schedule.

My friend, I know that we don't like it when our schedules are inconvenienced with delays, but never forget that God is trying to give you an opportunity to have fruit. The next time you are delayed in what you are doing, use that delay to help everyone around you. If you stay busy trying to help people during life’s delays, you will probably find that God has a purpose for it, and that purpose is for you to help someone else. Don't miss your opportunity for fruit because of your inconvenienced schedule. Let the inconvenienced schedule become your opportunity to help someone which will result in you gaining fruit.

Dr. Allen Domelle

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