The importance of the process is everything. Two men, two dreams two different approaches. One goes through many years vacant of the fulfillment of the promise, the other through trial and testing. One seems to trust that the Lord will have his way, the other has totally given up. In both instances GOD SHOWS UP.
The answer for both of these men wasn’t no, it was not yet
The process for Zachariah had to be one that removed Him. His plans and his capability have been eliminated. He’s so broken by the time Gabriel gets on the scene not only is reproduction impossible, he doesn’t even believe or put up a fight as to what his sons name will be.
I’m not so sure years earlier he would’ve been so apt to listen and give God glory. Arrogance, pride and striving and cultural norms were dying with each passing year. There was a death of a man’s plan and the only option left was an act which God alone would get glory for. But even so, the promise was intact. God still had joy and restoration for Zachariah, even in his lack.
With Joseph we see the development of wisdom and the constant testing of his character. He is placed in situations where he could fall to sin, get bitter, exact revenge, and choose to abandon God because he didn’t see the promise. Joseph stays faithful in the process. It was the process that prepared him for the palace.
The process of a promise is just that, a process. Sometimes the greatest treasure is not when what we’ve prayed for, for so long finally happens. Sometimes, it’s the man that was changed in the process that is the real treasure. The fulfillment was just a bonus. For God is always first most interested in the man. We have to be willing to be crushed, to let the selfish ambition drain out, the reliance on God alone come forth. God doesn’t want us to live in disappointment, He simply wants to cultivate us so we are prepared. Something obtained too soon is sure to fail. He longs to change us in the process to the promise. He loves us too much to give us less.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast (to possess or steer towards and land at) the confession of our hope without wavering, (unbending, not shakable) for he who promised (according to order to declare) is faithful (Confidence, trustworthy, reliable).
You can trust Him in the process, the fulfillment is more than you can imagine.