EARTH: Waiting On God by Francine Rivers

Reflections on How God Speaks Through Nature

Waiting On God by Francine Rivers

From: Earth Psalms

God has made everything beautiful for its own time.  He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

We have a dogwood tree in our backyard. A few springs ago, all the others in the neighborhood were blooming in their pink-and-white glory. Mine was still sleeping in the corner with the oak spreading its protective arms over it.

I thought the dogwood was dead.  I gave it a closer look and discovered it had new growth coming, the promise of something happening.  I wanted to shake it a little and wake it up.  It worked on a birch tree that Rich got tired of looking at some years ago and tried to pull up with his bare hands.  He pulled and yanked and gave it a kick or two – but it wouldn’t come out.  The next year, it thrived.  So here I was debating.  Did my dogwood need some rough handling?  I preferred talking: “Come on!  Pretty please.  Bloom!  We’re leaving soon on a trip and I don’t want to miss your show.”  It snoozed on.

The friend who house-sat for me during our trip had the pleasure of the dogwood’s display.  She could sit on the deck with the sun shining, look down into the shady area below, and see those beautiful flowers spreading across every branch.  Maybe the timing wasn’t just right for me, but it was for her.

Everything happens in God’s perfect time.  The wise king Solomon communicated this beautifully in Ecclesiastes 3.  Not only does Solomon say there is a season, or time, for “every activity under Heaven,” he ends with the striking statement that, “God has made everything beautiful for its own time,” (v. 11).  What looks wrong, out of sync, or just plain ugly to us is simply unfinished to God.  His plans are not yet complete.  He has the ability to bring beauty out of everything – in its perfect time, which he alone determines.  As Solomon says, we can’t see “the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”  It’s far beyond our comprehension.  So our role is to wait patiently, trusting that he can make everything beautiful – even the messes of our own lives.

Sometimes the things that look dead are just getting ready to grow.

Patient waiting is often the highest way of doing God’s will.
(Jeremy Collier)

REFLECT

When have you had to wait for something?  How difficult was it for you to wait for God’s timing?  What helps you wait patiently?

APPLY

What are you waiting for right now?  Consider a situation in your life that looks ugly or even dead.  What would have to happen for God to make it beautiful?  Ask God for the patience to wait for his timing.

CONNECT WITH GOD

Lord, you know how often I am impatient, wanting to see results right now.  Forgive me for thinking that I know best.  I know I can’t see your whole plan.  I’m so grateful that you care enough to make everything beautiful in its time.  Teach me patience as I wait.

I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.
Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
(27:13-14)

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