Gospel Song – You Can’t Hurry God

Gospel Song – You Can’t Hurry God

Gospel Song – You Can’t Hurry God.

This song is listed as a “traditional” gospel song. There is a source that lists Dorothy Love Coates as the composer. She indeed recorded it in 1953 with her singing group the Gospel Harmonettes, and so she could indeed be the writer of this song. It has become a popular song to sing in worship and on stage by many gospel musicians. Her lyric “He may not come when you want Him, but He’s right on time” has become a part of the Christian vocabulary everywhere.


LYRIC – You Can’t Hurry God

You can’t hurry God (no no)

you just have to wait.

Trust and give Him time

No matter how long it takes.

He’s a God you can’t hurry

you don’t have to worry

He may not come when you want Him

But He’s right on time, right on time.

Job was sick so long, until the flesh fell from his bones.

His wife, cattle and children, everything he had was gone.

He said, “You put these afflictions upon me.

Why don’t you come on and see about me!”

He may not come when you want Him, but He’s right on time. 

He’s the Alpha and Omega, He’s the Messiah prophesied called Jesus.

He’s on high, mighty and strong, He’s never done nothing wrong.

He may not come when you want Him, but He’s right on time.

Wait on Him, wait on Him, wait on Him, wait on Him.


We are told so often in life to wait. Wait for the long line to end. Wait for the phone call. Wait for the answer. Wait for something to make sense. Most of the time we have a difficult time waiting hopefully. We twiddle our thumbs. We make an ulcer. We worry and fret. We bide our time with a frustrated resignation. But that is not biblical waiting. The Hebrew word for “wait” has a root that means to bind together, to combine together by twisting. Biblical waiting in the Hebrew sense has to do with something like braiding hair or twining rope. In the Bible, waiting is something active, not passive. Waiting is a spiritual activity. Our current society makes it difficult to wait hopefully.

We live in an instant age, where everything is valued in terms of quickness and speed.

We live in a busy age, when life is fulfilling only when active, hurried and preoccupied.

We live in a stimulated age, when we are happiest with a day full of exciting thrills and big moments.

Waiting doesn’t sit easily with a life that is instant, busy or hyper-stimulated. It is difficult these days to hope in the dark, to patiently trust in a process that is not under our control. To wait on God means to braid together those aspects of our lives that help us to keep our faith in God and His timing. Twist together those loose ends of our past with the promises of the present:

  • Braid together His current promises to work things out for the best with the memories we have of God’s faithfulness in our past.
  • Twist together those former moments of spiritual blessing with God’s promise that there’s more from where that came.
  • Combine together His former acts of loving epiphany… the suddenly meaningful Bible verse, the unexpectedly encouraging person, the surprising presence of the peace that passes understanding…  with His current promise to sustain that love.
  • Braid together what you have learned from Christian experience with uncertain present situations.
  • Twine together a strong rope of hopeful expectation that, as He has shown mercy in the past, he will continue that same mercy in the present.

During times of difficult waiting, God is in the business of redeeming bad situations. We need not wait in fear or impatience for God to act. He is always on time. His thoughts are above our thoughts. His timing comes from His knowledge of the Big Picture.

The irony is that biblically waiting on God, instead of draining our strength, gives us strength and hope. When we actively wait, our faith becomes stronger, firmer, our trust becomes more patient, we become ready and expectant for God to move. Biblical waiting is spiritually active, but enables us to rest in peace. “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable… They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like the eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31).


3 Replies to “Gospel Song – You Can’t Hurry God”

  1. Just rereading this and loving the images of braiding and twining as active waiting . And finding hope in the reminder that God is always on time . Thank you, Steve.

  2. Encouraged by this, Steve. Thank you! I was just reading Psalm 27 this morning and was meditating on the last verse “O tarry and await the Lord’s pleasure; be strong, and he shall comfort your heart; wait patiently for the Lord.” I saw that tarry means to wait or linger expectantly….similar to the braiding/twisting/combining you write about. I think the Lord may be trying to tell me something 🙂 Thankful that you dig into what that braiding looks like — very helpful. Thank you!