"I will climb up into my watchtower now and wait to see what the Lord will say to me and how He will answer my complaint. Then the Lord said to me, 'Write My answer in large, clear letters on a tablet.....But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed." Habakkuk 2:1-3
Time lag: The period of time between two closely related events; between cause and effect.....That's a good, secular understanding of the term, but a friend recently gave it a spiritual one as well......and coined a better, I think, rendering; Lag time. He said that lag time is the difference between the Fathers giving of a promise and the realization of that promise. The gap between the two can be wide and that it was in that gap that most people "bail out." I think most of us are living in some form of lag time.
I heard a man once describe the length of time between His closing of one door and the opening of another as "Hell in the hallway." It's a kind of limbo. A place where we may not have any word from Him, and all that we do have is the Word(s) He has already spoken. It is on those words that we have to stand, and we can be sure that while we stand upon them, we will be mightily tested. Living in the lag time is an extremely uncomfortable way of life. I think it will always be part of the cost of realizing the vision He has given, and that is key. It must be HIS vision.
There is something else to know here. God gave this promise to Habakkuk, but Habakkuk would not live to see its fulfillment. He would be among those heroes of the faith listed in Hebrews who died trusting in His promises though they were not fulfilled in his lifetime. This is one of the greatest reasons that we "bail out" in lag time. Everything must be realized now! We only understand, or think we do, what's happening now. We have little concept of the eternal, and the eternal purpose of God. Eternity is always His central perspective. It is rarely ours. Our personal fulfillment and purposes being realized are not His greatest concern. His are. Few of us seem able to handle or accept that. Flesh life cannot live or survive in the lag time. Only Spirit life can.
There's something else to know here in the matter of His promises and visions. Habakkuk desired with all his heart to hear from God. So much so that he went up into a spiritual watchtower to do so. In that place he would stay until he did. If we are to hear and have word from Him, we can do no less. We cannot stay on the earthbound plane where the eyes of flesh reign. We have to have hearts that rise up in His Spirit in order to "see" and "hear" from Him. We need to be in our own watchtowers, looking for and expecting to behold Him. He will speak. And what He speaks and promises will almost surely involve for us lag time. It will involve our own hell in the hallway. What we must answer there is the question of whether will we trust Him? Will we hold to the promise and vision He shows us? Will we refuse to bail out, to lose heart in the lag time? We'll be confronted by these questions, but only if we dare to ascend to the watchtower. Ground level sight and life have a difficult time hearing or seeing anything but what is happening on the ground. Yet, as His word promises, if we will look up, we will see our redemption drawing near. Even in the lag time.