Leviticus 26:4 says, "I will give you rain in due season." Galatians says we must:
...Not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.
(Gal. 6:9 AMP)
And in 1 Peter 5:6 we are exhorted to "humble" [ourselves] "under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt" [us].

When is "due season" or "due time"? I believe it is when God knows we are ready, when everyone else involved is ready and when it fits into God's corporate plan. God has an individual plan for our individual lives, but He also has a corporate plan for the entire world.

I remember a time when I was frustrated because nothing was happening in my ministry. I knew I was anointed to teach God's Word, but absolutely no doors opened for me. It seemed I had waited so long, but I felt ready.

I had been cooperating with God. He had done major work in me, and I just could not understand whey something was not happening. I remember asking, "God, what are You waiting for now? Am I not ready yet?"

He responded by saying, "You are, but some of the others who will be involved with you are not yet ready, and I am still working some things out in them, so you will have to wait on them now."

You see, God does not push, shove, demand, manipulate or force people. He leads, guides, prompts and suggests. It is the responsibility of each person to give his or her will over to Him for His purposes. Sometimes this takes longer with one person than another.

Therefore, if God is developing a group of people or a team of people who will work together, part of them may be ready before the rest. This is especially hard, since at the birthing stage, they generally do not know God's plan, and many times they do not even yet know each other.

An excellent example of this is the single person praying for the perfect mate. God is, in fact, preparing that mate, but the one praying gets tired of waiting since they do not know what is going on behind the scenes.

The single person praying for a mate who is already a mature Christian, developed in the fruit of the Spirit and called into full-time ministry, etc., may need to be willing to wait to get their "special order" all fixed up on arrival. That takes time. It does not happen overnight. However, God has the right person for them.

Dave got me quickly, but his was not a demanding prayer. He asked God for a wife, the right one for him, and he asked God for her to be someone who needed help. He prayed on and off for approximately six months to one year.

We met, had five dates and got married. We have been married twenty-eight years as of the publishing of this book in 1994. Dave has always said he knew I was the right one the first night we went out, but he waited to ask me to marry him because he did not want to frighten me.

He arrived at the conclusion, after only three weeks of marriage, that I had quite a few problems and was in need of much help. Dave received the answer to his prayer quickly, but he also had to endure a lot of hard times while I was growing up in God and overcoming the problems from my abusive past.

God knew that Dave was mature enough to handle the rough years with me; therefore, He answered Dave's prayer quickly. He was strong enough to help someone who had many problems. Dave was willing to be used by God in that way, and God used him.

Had he been unable to handle it or if he had prayed for someone more perfected, I believe God would have delayed His answer until a more appropriate time, after the Lord had done some major things in my life to get me to the place Dave had requested.

The point I am trying to make is that when we are waiting on God, it is essential that we realize that God may be working out some things with several people in order to answer our prayer. Believing that makes waiting more endurable.

Excerpted from the book When God When by Joyce Meyer
(Tulsa: Harrison House, 1998) All rights reserved. Used by permission.