Confession time: I can get frustrated when things don’t happen when and as though I think they should. I abhor waiting. I thrive on instant gratification. If there’s anything I like less than waiting something out its giving up or giving in. I’m sure you can see that herein lies a great source of tension: I often refuse to fold, but waiting for a full hand to be played makes me want cry out in frustration as I not-so-patiently bide my time.
Can you relate at all to any of this? Maybe you don’t know what the next season of life holds for you? Maybe you are desperate to see a change in your child’s behavior? Maybe you long to have your spouse to go to church with you? Maybe there’s a habit you want to change in yourself, but you made the same poor decision yet again this week. Maybe you are getting tired of waiting it out and you want to see results now. Not tomorrow, not this month…but now.
I get it.
Allow me to speak some encouragement into your situation today. It’s never too late for a breakthrough. Cultivating the patience necessary to wait it out is well worth it. As I’ve already shared, this is not something which comes naturally to me, nor am I as patient as I ought to be for much of the time….but now I have a visual to remind me to practice patience: an old potted plant on my back deck. Let me explain incase it can help you, too…
As you’ll learn as you spend more time with me, I absolutely adore making spaces feel like home. My old office cubicle? Homemade bunting draped across the carpeted walls. My makeshift basement gym? An accent chair and a plant take up space like they have every right to be in that cinder-blocked room. I cherish moments spent getting our church spruced up for each changing season.
You get the idea.
Pinterest would have been a small miracle if it was around when I planned my wedding and decorated my first nurseries.
I share this just to set the stage for what’s to come in this little story. Also, I’m about to get dark for a few moments, but I promise I won’t stay there for too very long! After all, this is meant to be encouraging!
Just about 3 years ago my sister and I lost our mom to a VERY short bout of cancer. I’ll revisit this season in our lives throughout other posts, but for now let’s just focus on the activities known as “the arrangements.” My sister is just as in love with interior design as I am, and we really wanted mom’s services to feel like “us”….the three of us…and how we have our own homes decorated.
Unfortunately, that is really hard to accomplish when florists only offer tremendous sprays and displays filled with flowers that we would never have on our own tables. Needless to say, through a remarkable series of events, also known as God’s hand (wink wink), we had an idea to skip the florist all together! There! I said it! We skipped the obligatory florist hired for funerals! Gasp!
Do you know what we did instead? We scoured the lengths of Long Island for ball-based Dogwood trees and Japanese Willows. It was the first week of June, and they were in full bloom! We added in some white hydrangea, a flower mom always had in her kitchen, and baby’s breath. I hit the springtime décor jackpot when I found dozens of white tulips in Trader Joes (the florist said they would be impossible to find).
With a few potted plants, wooden crates, and Hobby Lobby signage thrown into the mix, one could have easily mistaken the viewing room for an event space holding a bridal shower of the modern farmhouse variety.
Now, back to the trees. Not only were they a beautiful addition to such a bittersweet time in our lives, but my sister and I were able to take one of each kind home with us. We planted them in our yards. Or rather, we each planted the dogwoods, and only my sister planted the Japanese Willow…while I foolishly left mine in the pot.
I don’t have a green thumb. In full disclosure, I should also mention that the plant I mentioned “living” in my basement is actually totally fake and totally from IKEA.
Needless to say, my perpetually potted willow eventually turned into nothing more than dried up sticks in the overly dry dirt. I put the pot outside for “fresh air”, but the Pocono winter did absolutely nothing for my revival efforts. In fact, as I’m sure you could imagine, the winter made matters worse. So, there it was…this plant, long gone and covered in snow…and just within view of my kitchen window on the back patio.
Even though it completely died in the pot, every time I looked out the window I kept on wondering if it would ever bloom the next spring. I wish I could say it did, but it didn’t…not in that Spring, at least.
I almost finally tossed the batch of brittle twigs where Christmas wreaths and Autumn mums meet their final resting place out back when I noticed the FOLLOWING summer that new shoots were growing! Take a look at this pic I grabbed from my social media account after I first noticed the new growth.
Whatever your struggle is now, don’t lose faith. If I had tossed the willow out seasons, months, weeks or even days earlier, I never would have known that flowers would eventually come, all those seasons later. There’s life after death, and God can make all things new! We don’t know all the plans laid out for us or our loved ones, but God does, and we will discover them in His perfect timing!
This is a concrete example of life after death, rebirth, and deliverance. Scriptures are full of examples as well. What if Joshua’s army quit circling Jericho after 5 days? What about if Noah felt too defeated to go on after 39 days of nonstop flooding? The entire story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead only happened because Lazarus was allowed to die first.
Sound familiar? Easter Sunday only occurred because God allowed His son to die first. It was all part of His perfect plan for the redemption of humankind, and in His timing there was new life and deliverance.
Again, do not lose faith. Be patient. Even if it seems as though all redemptive chances have come and gone…and come and gone again…He who redeems can bring any situation through to fruitful completion. If you are waiting for the next mile marker to reveal itself, trust in His timing. God is neither late nor early. He is always right on time.
Allow Him to cultivate patience in you as you wait on His timing. You truly never know when what you are seeking, or something far better, will come to fruition!
Did you catch all of the Be Still Series? Here it is!
- Simply Still Series: Top 6 Stillness Verses
- Simply Still Series: How to Forego What is Better for What is Best
- Simply Still Series: Tired of Being Tired?
- Day 21
- Prodigal Series Day 20: Good Father, Wrapping Up
- The Prodigal Series Day 19: Good Father, Our Father
- The Prodigal Series Day 18: Good Father, An Open Invite
- Prodigal Series Day 17: Good Father, A Runner