Wednesday, February 25, 2015

If the daffodils can wait, so can I

Daffodils ready, and waiting.
It has been a long, cold winter, and we are eagerly awaiting the warm weather of spring.  Our daffodils usually bloom early to mid-February.  It is now only a few days until March and they still haven’t bloomed, due to the unusually cold and dark winter.  They are ready, but waiting for the proper time.

I remember waiting for the arrival of our child.  We were ready long before he arrived, but we had to wait. 

I know several who are longing and looking for a lifetime mate.  It hasn’t happened yet, and they are waiting.

I remember being in school and waiting for summer break, waiting to finally get my driving permit, and waiting for my sweetheart to call at a certain designated time.  All I could do was wait until the designated time.

Some have precious family members in declining stages of health, and live with the understanding that their time on earth is dwindling.  They wait for the inevitable.

Even though it is hard to do, we all must wait for certain things in life.  The epidemic of “road rage” seems to illustrate our lack of patience in these times of waiting.  How then, do we get this allusive thing we call patience?

Ruth Bell Graham tells the story of her impatience with some seeds she planted, then dug them up frequently just to see if they were sprouting yet.  You can imagine how that seed adventure ended.
I have been taught my own lessons in patience.  Many recipes ago I learned to trust the instructions, at times the hard way.  The instruction was to “cool the cake completely before frosting”, but I didn’t.  I had this lovely rich chocolate buttercream frosting ready, and wanted to spread it, so onto the freshly-baked three layer chocolate cake it went.  I could hardly work for the delicious aroma.  Quickly I began to feverishly argue with the frosting that began to slide down the sides of the cake.  I realized it was my fault, not the sugar, cocoa and butter.  I should have been patient.  Not only did the frosting not stick, the cake fell apart in the battle.  Lesson learned.

Waiting for the seeds to sprout and the cake to cool, helps us learn how to wait.  When we learn these lessons and practice waiting - that is called patience.  While patience is a virtue, it doesn’t come without practice.  So, all those lessons in waiting serve to teach us patience.

Waiting patiently is especially hard when we don’t know the outcome.  I have been guilty of dwelling on the worse possible “what ifs”.  Maybe you have too.  What if it ends in tragedy, or pain and suffering?  As a result, I suffer the anguish as if it were already true, when it hasn’t even happened yet!  Sometimes I forget that whatever God asks me to endure, He will equip me to endure.  I now consider that “forgetting” an attitude of mistrust.  If I do not trust God to stand by me (and He promised to NEVER leave me or forsake me), I tend to wallow in all kinds of worry.  However, when I remember that God, who created the universe, and raised Jesus from the dead, is fully able to equip me for every good work, I wallow less.  I can plan for eventualities, without hand-
wringing, when I trust His outcome, and I am convinced He is worthy of my complete trust.

So, if I patiently wait, and trust Him with the outcome – what should I do while I wait? Make the most of the waiting time.  These are some ideas which are helpful to me, perhaps they could be a good start for you or someone you know.

1)  Be ready to bloom.  Regardless of what is going on in and around your life, be ready.  Study His Word for instruction every day.

2)  Stand firm in the truths found in His Word.  You can count on Him and the Bible. Waiting can cause us to doubt, (a favorite tactic of our enemy) but, when you study and stand firm in the truth, doubt cannot take hold.

3)  Give thanks in everything, for this is the will of God concerning you.  Even if it hurts. Even if it isn’t part of our plans. Even if it takes us out of our comfort zone.  Give thanks.   You will find that this attitude builds trust, eliminates worry, and replaces it with peace.

4)  Press on.  Life is a marathon.  As we approach the finish line, let’s not waste time on hand-wringing over things that may not even come to pass.  When an obstacle comes, we will be equipped to navigate it.  Keep about your work.  The daffodils will both bloom and fade when it is the proper time.

Father, we thank You for Your Word which teaches us the truths which equip us for our very lives.  Thank You for illustrating so many of these truths in Your creation.   We trust You and Your Word with everything, every day, and in every circumstance.  Help us to use our time wisely, and draw ever nearer to You as we press on each day.