What happens if your contacts are on a message node and you pause the workflow and add a delay, and then publish the workflow?

When you re-launch the workflow, it will pull the contacts into the delay node, and start counting as the contacts are pulled onto the node.

Pausing and adding a delay shouldn’t affect your scheduling unless any of your other workflow delays are tied to a specific date. If the workflow is relaunched after the specific date is reached, the delay defaults to send immediately. So, anyone in the workflow will receive the next action directly after the previous one in the workflow branch.