Sunday, September 18, 2005

God's Time

As humans, we measure time in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years. We usually have time estimates as to how long a given task will take. When we get ill, one of our first questions to our doctor is usually how soon will I be well and functioning normally.

Life itself presents many challenges to us as we live it day to day.

As kids, we can hardly wait get our first bicycle, go to school, finish high school etc.

As parents, it is so easy to think such things as:

"I will be SO glad when we are out of diapers."
"I'll be SO glad when he can use words to TELL me what is wrong."
"I'll be so glad when I'm out of college and have a real job."

Today at church one of our families asked us to pray for a crisis situation with their fourteen year old grandson. For many families, teenage years can be rough years. Between individual internal biochemistry issues, emotional problems, puberty, and the need to become independent and individual from parents, this time frame leaves a lot of wounds. One of our favorite words of comfort to people going through such rough times is often: "God's time is not our time."

I was thinking about that today as I was driving in the car. A word picture of this came into my mind. My grandfather bought a farm and farmed it while I was small. We still own that farm and most visits home to my family included a trip to check on the farm and crops. In addition, when the kids were young, I had many vegetable gardens and I planted fruit trees and grapevines.

When you are planting radishes, it takes about three weeks from planting to harvest.
When you are planting corn, wheat, and milo, it takes four to six months from planting to harvest.
When you are planting fruit trees, depending on the size tree you buy, you are looking at getting your "first fruits" in 3-5 years- and several more before it becomes a bountiful harvest.
When you are planting pecan trees, it generally takes 10 years or more (our pecan trees took over 15 years before they started producing.)
The "farmers" who plant forests for lumber are looking ahead 20 years for a harvest of the seedlings they are planting.
Saguaro cactus don't reach "maturity" for 100 years.
Redwoods and sequoia trees live for thousands of years.

So often as we go through the teenage years, the early adult years, we expect God's answers to our prayers to be immediately answered. Human hearts and psychology are very intricate. Even with God's great and almighty power, the best answers to our prayers for human growth and development take years of cultivation, water, and nuture to bear fruit.

So next time you are wrestling with one of life's difficult human challenges - are you really looking for a "radish"? God is looking to create the beauty of a forest, or a tall saguaro, or the stately grace of the redwoods and sequoia trees. Jesus told us about the lily that toiled not, neither did it spin, yet it was beautifully arrayed. Are we not more important to God? While my human desires and lack of patience want a speedy resolution, I've learned that waiting for God's longer more well thought out answer always gives me special blessings and usually an answer beyond anything I could have thought up for myself.


Anonymous said...

Great essy and some things to think about.

Anonymous said...

Kin I try agin? Great essay!