Sing praises to the Lord , O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Psalms 30:4-5 ESV
There is always hope in Christ. Know this today. God’s anger and our weeping do come, but neither are forever. Sure, they may tarry, but they will not remain forever.
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “tarry” in few ways: “to delay or be tardy in acting or doing; to linger in expectation; to abide or stay in or at a place.” The abiding in this case is not in the forever sense; it’s a temporary stay. This means when something tarries, it is lingering. It hasn’t stopped moving; it is just moving slowly along. And it’s not staying forever; it just hasn’t left yet.
There’s great hope in this word “tarry,” for it means whatever heartache you are experiencing will not remain forever. That sickness will not last forever. Your heart will not hurt forever. Those tears will one day be wiped away. Joy will come. Healing will come. Tarry doesn’t mean that hardships never come; it just means they will not be around forever.
Tarry also means what God has promised will indeed come. Read with me the passage from Habakkuk 2:3.
And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
What I love about this passage from the King James Version is the double use of tarry. In essence it says “If it delays, wait for it, because it will not delay.” At first glance this sounds like it doesn’t make sense, but think about it this way. In our house in order to curb overeating and snacking too much throughout the day, we have an eating and snacking schedule. The kids have breakfast when they get up, a snack at 10, lunch around 12, another snack at 3, and then dinner between 6 and 6:30. Of course, even though we have had the schedule for a while, this does not stop my kids from asking if it’s snack time yet. Some days from their perspective, they believe it takes forever for snack time to arrive. But that’s just because they are hungry. Snack time never changes, so from my viewpoint snack time is always on time. It does not delay because the time I intended it to be from the beginning has not changed. My plan remains the same regardless how the kids feel about it.
In the same way, the Promises of God may not come on our timetable or according to our expectations. But they will come. Tarry to us is still on time to God. God doesn’t tarry according to His time. God is always on time in light of eternity. God’s promises do not delay; they just appear to from our limited viewpoint. God has known from the beginning of time exactly what He was going to do and when He was going to do it, so even though something tarries according to our desires, it does not tarry according to God’s plan.