A few weeks ago, snow fell across the GTA. While beautiful because it dressed the trees in a delicate white covering, it was met by many with grumbles and complaints. I always find it ironic that the first snowfall can bring so much joy as it signifies the start of a new season, but then the last snowfall is unwelcome because it just means that we still have some waiting to do for spring to finally be here.
Delayed gratification is the bane of our society. We want answers right away. We want to be served first instead of last. We want to welcome in the good that God has for us when we need it, instead of wait for it in God’s timing. There is a massive fear of missing out, but also an enormous fear of wasting precious time. The catchphrase, “You Only Live Once,” although inspiring, just reinforces the need and desire to make the most of every moment- even if it means skipping the “waiting process.”
Have you noticed that a few plants have made their way through the soil, but the flowers are taking their time? We can rush the flowers to bloom all that we want, but the conditions have to be just right for them to open and reveal their beauty. They need time to prepare themselves for the upcoming season. If they come out during the first few days of warmer weather, they may be blitzed by the snow, cold winds and changing temperatures that usually follow. In the waiting, they are preparing themselves so that they can have a prolonged life instead of one determined by temperamental weather patterns.
Now I know it is never fun to be compared to a plant. I should know as the name Heather ironically means “low-lying shrub,” but there is something to be learned from this in-between season in which we find ourselves. If God designed elements of this world to be their best through seasons of waiting, how much more is He doing in our time of waiting?
I think about so many people in the Bible who had to wait years to see “fruit” in their lives. David had to wait to become King. Jacob had to wait for Rachel’s hand in marriage. Abraham and Sarah had to wait to be blessed with a child. Even Noah had to wait for the rains to subside and the earth to become dry once again. In these moments of waiting, however, God was working and preparing each person for their rewards.
In the waiting, God is working. Just as we value time, God appreciates time and the beauty that it can bring. John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Now I know this verse is not a typical one used to talk about having patience in whatever season we find ourselves in, but I think it applies. Jesus had to live life for Him to take our sins. Child sacrifice was not uncommon during His time, so would it have been easier for Jesus to take on the sins of the world and be sacrificed as a child? It might have been… But Jesus needed to be present in the world; live a life that was not all that uncommon from those around Him, and understand the actual weight of sin. He had to be used by God to show that a deep and unconditional love does exist. God was not only preparing Jesus for this sacrifice, but He was preparing the hearts of those around Christ to understand the weight of what Jesus did on the cross.
God is the master of waiting. If we are anxious for the goodness that God promises us, imagine how excited God is for His plans to come to fruition? I imagine God standing next to us and whispering into our ear, “Oh my child, you have no idea the plans I have for you. Seek my heart. Find peace in my Word, and wait. I am so excited for you to experience the gifts that I have waiting for you!”
God has overcome this world. He knows that we will experience moments when a fresh snowfall leaves us feeling discouraged, or we are so impatient and anxious because we want to see what the next season will hold. In it all though, God is God. In the waiting He doesn’t change- but we do. And if we allow God to work in us during the waiting, it makes it all the more beautiful and us even more resilient.
God is preparing you for more in this time of waiting. Enjoy the waiting. Find beauty in the waiting. Seek out God in the waiting. Just think… if God is equipping you for what He has in store for you, it must be pretty special.