Waiting. Waiting for spring, waiting for corona virus to disappear, your job to re-start, your kids to go back to school, your wedding day, things to go back to normal. We are all in various stages of waiting at different times in our lives. Right now, however, the entire world is in a waiting mode, for better or for worse.
I was struck by this concept on my walk this morning. The forest was filled with bird song and there were very few people about. I have to say, this is the way I prefer to walk. I’m a connoisseur of silence except for the sound of the wind in the trees, the creek flowing over rocks and the birds singing their morning songs. It’s usually in quiet and solitude that I hear the Lord’s voice. If I don’t listen, I miss the gifts He’s laid out for me.
I can trace the origin of this need to my country childhood. I spent most of my time outdoors, often by myself, when not playing with the neighborhood kids. I was free to roam hundreds of acres of fields and forest, some our own, many our neighbors and unknown owners. There were meadows with weeds up to my chin, often brimming with wild strawberries. Large patches of blackberries blanketed a neighbor’s property. My friend and I made endless tunnels within the patch in order to get the juicy fruit, some of which measured one to two inches long. Warmed by the sun, we didn’t worry about our fingers and lips turning purple from the fruit. We waited patiently for the berries to go from bright red to luscious deep purple. We checked that patch every day as the birds were also keeping an eye on the fruit. We knew when the wild raspberries ripened, and the apples were ready to be picked in each neighbor’s orchard. I don’t recall thinking about the waiting. There was always a treasure of some kind to be found every day regardless of whether it was edible or not.
So today while I walk, I notice spring unfurling around me in its own timing, and in its own varied way. The blackberry bushes are one of the first spring flowers to bloom. I am marking the days and weeks according to what plants first show their happy faces such as the jewelweed and forget-me-nots that line the path. The air is heavy with the scent of honeysuckle and wild roses.
I love the names and nicknames of wildflowers. Jewelweed is also called spotted touch-me-not. There is a lovely yellow and white summer wildflower called butter and eggs. I remember picking buttercups in our fields. We would each hold a flower under our chin and check to see the gold reflected on our skin. Such simple joy in spring.
I’m also following the daily unfolding of the downy arrowwood blossoms. Its panicle of buds starts out green and slowly lightens to white. One rainstorm and the flowers are brown. Such is the fleeting nature of spring flowers. I am looking forward to seeing its berries in the fall.
So, as we pass the days waiting, let us remember to take each one as a treasure. Every morning brings new opportunities to hear and see the goodness of the Lord. Let us never take for granted the sunrise. He is still sovereign regardless of how it may appear around us. As Isaiah said so profoundly, ‘”For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”’ (Isaiah 55:8-9)
I for one am grateful that I’m not in charge of the universe! I’m also grateful that I’m ultimately not in charge of my life either. I’d much rather have a Lord who loves me deeply, wants my life to be the very best it can be, and who spends His days and nights communicating with me to make it happen. His wisdom is infinite. Even if I don’t understand what is going on and why, He does.
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”
Psalm 27:13-14 NIV