Life and circumstances will always happen to individuals to various degrees and grades. That is part of the essence of our existence on earth. There is no one who is free of life’s factual experience, whether good or bad, especially the bitter taste of life. Now, when people experience or encounter delays in different areas of life, such unpleasant experience could trigger anxiety. Oftentimes the delay might be saving grace or blessing in disguise that one needs at that point in time.

I have heard expressions like ‘delay is dangerous’, but I take that simply as a warning against procrastination; to convey a charge for people to always not delay in utilizing opportunities as procrastination could cause the loss of such a chance; but delay is not necessarily dangerous, rather it could be a situation that can save life.

Ordinarily, delays are not associated with immediate celebrations, but often elicit consolation and counselling. When it happens, the victim might not understand the grace the delay might show until it manifests. But the first reaction to delay is not friendly at all. When one fails to excel in a job interview and is heartbroken, the fellow receives consolatory words like, ‘It is not how early, but how well.” Great minds know it is not the end of the world and would rather suppress the situation with consolation and soothing words. But in all honesty, if the next opportunity is harnessed well, it is always greater than the delayed encounter.

When romantic relationships expected to materialize into healthy, legal union are delayed by the stakeholders, that delay might be the needed parenthesis to consider the future. Now, use the case of Udeme and Comfort as a case study. Both were young undergraduates who had agreed to tie the nuptial knot after their graduation. While still in school, they made their plans known to their parents. Udeme’s father, a civil servant, waved it away and asked them to concentrate on their studies and also give themselves time. He said, “I agree it is not a bad idea, but concentrate on your studies, pass out in flying colours and let us see what the future holds for both of you. They took the old man’s advice, and the delay afforded Comfort the opportunity to find out that Udeme was not the ideal man she wished for herself.

Their story dates back to the time when computers and accessories were being introduced into the Nigerian market. Udeme’s friend, Franklin, who was based in United Kingdom happened to be a dealer in the product; both struck and sealed a deal. Under that arrangement they agreed on, Frank would ship the computers, while Udeme was to make the sales and remit the money. They also agreed on a profit-sharing formular. After the first two successful and smooth transactions, subsequent ones went into voice mail and Udeme began to cook up stories which did not add up. At one point, Franklin reported the matter to the police, who came one morning to arrest him in the presence of his-would-be-wife. The young woman screamed, discovering to her utter embarrassment that the man she was in love with could not be trusted. She ended the relationship. If that delay did not intervene, she would have ended up in the hands of a fraudulent character. The delay of a decision saved her.

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Delay can literally save lives, situations and opportunities. Mrs. Kini Harrison gave testimony of how God used delayed scenario to fight her battle and saved her from a visioner. She said, “In my marriage of six years, my brother-in-law, Duke became a thorn in my flesh. He calculated lies to my husband with fake prophesies and visions. Immediately after our wedding, God blessed us with a male child, and almost immediately, another pregnancy came forth. Then Duke came his so-called his vision. “In this pregnancy, God has shown me that you will give birth to another boy and both would be successful businessmen like their father which my husband believed. He kept jubilating and referring to this vision and the centre did not hold whenever this issue came up in the house. Then came the day of delivery, we got to the hospital and I saw two familiar faces. We managed to say hello even in labour pains as the nurses moved the three of us to the labour ward. In no time, my friends delivered baby boys and a nurse came to me on my bed and announced that my friends had delivered, and it remaining only me. It took me another six hours of delayed labour before the delivery of my baby girl came. If I had given birth when others did, my husband would have thought an exchange of babies had taken place because his brother had prophesied so; but God used six hours delay to shut fake prophesies out on my life and marriage.”

There have been cases of delayed and missed flights that saved lives of the individuals who missed such flights that eventually crashed. At such times, the victims of plane crash would regret and wished they had missed the flight. In 2003, a Dana Air flight crashed. A couple missed the Abuja-Lagos flight. As they alighted from their car and ran fast through the departure hall and unto the tarmac, they saw their flight take off. For the rest day at home, they traded blames for missing the flight, but all that changed when news broke that the particular Dana Air flight had crashed. Both husband and wife hugged each other with gratitude to God and apologies to each other. They wished each other happy survival. Delay saved them.

At other times, you would most probably have heard that ‘Delay is not denial’. It could be manifest in a botched plan, a failed business, the unexpected outcome in a relationship, unsuccessful results for an athlete, a futile art work, failed mission or anything where n someone has put in his or her heart and soul. But taking time to reflect on the outcome, one would learn a lesson regarding the process and why it failed to produce the desired result. Are we failing to look at the brighter side of life? No, we are not failing at all, but the answer is, what is delayed in not denied. If one has it, the person will not give up, there will be tough times to make one tougher, there will be setbacks to help one refine strategies, there will be failures to make success taste sweeter and there will be sacrifices to remind one to be grateful every time.

Worthy of note is the fact that there are children who need that delay as a syndrome to fulfill their destinies. This is a warning to parents who rush their children through school and otherwise. When parents say of their children, “He or she graduated at 19” that is laudable but check other life qualities, decisions and attitude of that child. It takes an exceptional student to make a wonderful grade at 19 and be the best one can think of in other areas of life. If that same child graduates at 22, he would be a more balanced person in the society because those years would have prepared him or her better with

Delay could be an answer to a prayer. Preachers have always said that delay is not denial even as God wants us to stop worrying about how long the breakthrough is taking to manifest but to focus on the fact that His promises do not expire. When you are delayed in anything, get up! Embrace yourself, you have it in you. Every failure or setback has come to define one as a person to make him or her stronger, give you better outcome and more than you even imagined for yourself.

Dear Friends; delay in life does not mean the game has ended; it just gives us an opportunity to start all over again; which does not mean starting from zero, rather to start from one’s experience and this is what delay blesses us with, it is not dangerous outright, it could be for a reason. So, persevere, let us work on our strategies, put in more, learn more, pause, keep working hard until the time you believe things are turning out for good. Do not let the missed benchmark blur your vision. We fail to see the microscopic view of life at times and forget to be grateful for where we have already reached.