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Is five years too long to wait for an answer to prayer?

At the end of the year, I try to go back and read from the last several years of my journal to gain perspective and wisdom. On the last day of 2022, I read a journal entry from January 10, 2018 (almost five years prior), which mentioned having several conversations with a pastor from Nashville…then it continued:

“…could you (God) use that relationship?  I think so. I am not sure what you are doing with all of these relationships, but I give them to you for you to use as you see fit.  I would ask you to bring me to people who you know I can help and serve for your Kingdom.  Then give me clarity on what that means…”

Unfortunately, it turned out I spent the next 12 months developing multiple proposals for this guy, and nothing developed from it.  He went silent on me.

This last year (2022) was a financial challenge for Healthy Growing Leaders (HGL).  In August 2022, I received an email from a couple of Christian businessmen who asked me to develop an instrument for a book they had written.  I had many meetings and worked on five different proposals for them as they changed their desires and expectations.  As with other projects we worked on through the year, they had great potential, but they didn’t produce much. As we approached the end of the year, I was significantly behind in my compensation and pension. In December, these businessmen re-engaged and said they wanted to sign the contract before the end of the year and pay the entire amount in 2022. We received and deposited their payment on December 30, 2022! I was paid all my compensation on December 31, 2022!!

So what does this have to do with my journal entry from five years ago? These two businessmen had heard of me through their friend and pastor…yes…the same pastor I journaled about five years prior.

I don’t think it was purely coincidental that I would read that journal entry on December 30, the same day we deposited the check.  I didn’t even remember writing this five years ago.  I offered it as a prayer, and then five years later, it was answered big time. 

This isn’t a big deal for God. He used this relationship from five years ago to meet a need we had this year. And that relationship five years ago came through a guy reading a book I had written years before that.

My engineering mind is befuddled about how God can orchestrate relationships, contacts, and events to bring honor to him years in the future.  I know he does; I just don’t understand how.  Someone has said that a coincidence is just a situation where God chooses to remain anonymous. 

I know there are individuals who refuse to believe in God because they prayed and didn’t receive the answer they requested.  I can’t answer for our God. I will let him do that from his perspective in eternity. But I do know there are many situations where he works in ways in which we don’t have a clue.  Had it not been for my journaling and then reading that entry from 5 years ago, I, too, would have totally missed his gracious hand at work providing the answer as we needed. 

Five years wasn’t too long.






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