He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11a
Waiting. Not giving up or giving in. Not losing hope nor caving into discouragement.
These are all easier said than done. Easier to speak than to live. Easier to remember and recite when things are going well; harder to hold onto when things seem bleak.
I was doing the dishes the other day when my five-year-old burst into the kitchen from the backyard and shouted, “My flower bloomed! My flower bloomed!” What?! In the middle of October?! The flower that he planted back in the spring? The flower that didn’t seem to “take” when all the other kids’ did? THAT flower?! Granted, I don’t know much about flowers. Maybe this was a special type of flower and maybe this was right on schedule. But it sure wasn’t our schedule nor was it the timing for which we had hoped or expected.
It was heartbreaking to witness my son endure the sadness of watching everyone else’s flower bloom (months ago!) while his did not. Blame was placed on the flower – maybe it was a bad seed? Blame was placed on him – he must have done something wrong when he planted it? But no. No one did anything wrong. There was nothing wrong with the seed. BUT – here is where my heart soared; this is what reminded me of the goodness of our loving Father: the measure of joy that this flower brought in mid-October, when all the colors around it had faded – has been greater than had it bloomed when we expected it to, when everything around it was in full color.
What a picture of life. What disappointments we endure when things don’t happen when we expect them to. When we are alone in our sadness. When surely we think something or someone is to blame, that something went terribly wrong. When we have to wait. But could it be that the beauty meant to shine through you or your situation or your life is going to be all the brighter, all the more worth celebrating, when the right time does come?
Countless times in Scripture we are confronted with what would appear to be ill timed events. Jesus arrived at the scene of the tomb of Lazarus.... four days “late.” Joseph remained in prison two years.... “forgotten” by the cupbearer. David anointed yet for 15 years had to.... “wait” before becoming king. Yet in all of these instances, the Lord was working out the right thing at the right time in the right way. Likewise, while we may be waiting He is working, to bring about His perfect plan in the perfect time, a work of beauty.
We are reminded in Ecclesiastes that there is a time and season for everything. We all have to endure waiting of some type or another. Don’t give up or give in. Hang on to the hope that comes from Christ alone. He has not forgotten you. His timing is not off. In fact, His timing will be the most beautifully designed and perfectly timed...just for you. Remember, the joy received from an October-bloomed flower was greater than had it bloomed on “schedule.” As A.B. Simpson stated concerning difficulties (which waiting certainly is!), “God does not regard them as difficulties but as opportunities. They have come to give God a greater interest in us and to show how He can deliver us from them. Without difficulties we cannot have a mercy worth praising God for. God is as deep, and long, and high as our little world of circumstances.”
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 How can we hope in and wait on the Lord?
-remember His goodness
“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.” Lamentations 3:25
-reflect upon His Word
“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5
-remain in prayer
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12
Elizabeth Elliott stated: “When ours are interrupted, His are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable) ‘toward the goal of true maturity (Romans 12:2 JBP).’”
The work He does is a work of beauty. He will make everything beautiful in its time.
With love in Christ,
(on behalf of the Women’s Ministry)