Have you ever felt weary?
Battle-burdened, expectation fatigued, and weary.
It’s something I’ve been feeling for the last while.
I’m imagining it is something many of us have been feeling over the last year. So many of us, myself included, had come into this year with great plans and expectations, believing that God would do amazing things. Like me, you may even have thought that 2020 is the year for those things you have long been hoping for, those promises of God, to come to fruition. 2020, marking the end of one decade and the beginning of another – what a year it would be for these hopes to come to pass.
But, things have not quite turned out like we expected. Or not yet (more on this later).
And so the other day, I found myself weary. Disappointed, and weary.
I asked God why a specific thing had not happened yet, something I was so sure should have happened by now.
I heard Him say, You do not trust Me.
Confused (and increasingly convicted), I told Him I do not understand.
I heard Him respond, You do not trust Me that I will make everything beautiful in it’s time.
Now, I do not think God said my situation has not changed because I do not trust Him. I believe He meant I do not trust that He has a plan despite what I can see. He is still in control and very much at work to make what He promised happen, but my not trusting Him is causing me stress in the in-between.
I turned to Ecclesiastes 3:11, which speaks of God making everything beautiful in its time:
He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has planted eternity (a sense of divine purpose) in the human heart (a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God) – yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.Ecclesiastes 3:11 AMP
I read and reread this verse, wrote it down, analysed it and prayed.
There were many things that stood out in this verse, which has layer upon layer of revelation. But the start of this verse – that bit that God spoke to me – was what brought me the greatest comfort for this situation: He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time.
In its time.
What does that mean?
I don’t know if you do much gardening (I like to dabble), but if you do, you’ll know that different vegetables take different times to grow.
Radishes, for example, take only four weeks from sowing to be ripe to harvest.
Pumpkins, on the other hand, can take four months from sowing to be ready to harvest.
You cannot harvest pumpkins the same time you harvest radishes. If you do, you won’t get a ripe harvest and what you do get will not be good for anything.
But if you harvest radishes when they are ready, and pumpkins when they are ready, you will have a beautiful harvest because each was able to become ready in its time.
One is not better than the other because it is ready quicker, nor is there a lesser demand for the one that takes longer to grow. Each is perfect for its purpose and requires its own time to be ready for that purpose.
When this hit me, I pondered on harvest times and the requirements for various plants.
Most plants need soil, water, sunlight, nutrients and time, but how much of each can vary greatly between plants.
Then there are other requirements that certain plants need, like Pyrophytic plants requiring fire to bloom or their seeds needing the heat of a fire to germinate.
As I mulled over all this, I began to wonder what beautiful thing is God preparing for me to harvest?
Whatever it is, it clearly requires time to get ready, some trials (perhaps it’s more a refining fire on my part), and care.
If I want to receive this thing God has for me in all its beauty, I will need to let the Master Gardener do what He knows needs to be done to get it (and myself) ready.
I need to trust that He knows what He is doing, and that He will not deliver His promise prematurely, i.e. if it has not been made beautiful, or give me something that He does not have for me.
Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!Matthew 7:9-11 NKJV
Our Father gives good gifts.
They may not always come in the way we expect or when we expect (or demand), but they will come because He is the One delivering.
The Hebrew word for “time” in Ecclesiastes 3:11 is eth (Strong’s Hebrew 6256). It means “time; period of time; appointed time; proper time; season.” In Greek, it is kairos (Strong’s Greek 2540), referring to an opportune time.
There is a time set for each of God’s promises to come to pass. And these promises rush to that time.
“For the vision is yet for the appointed [future] timeHabakkuk 2:3 AMP
It hurries toward the goal [of fulfillment]; it will not fail.
Even though it delays, wait [patiently] for it,
Because it will certainly come; it will not delay.”
Though it delays and feels like it takes forever from where we’re standing, we can rest assured that our Good Father is preparing something beautiful to come to fruition in its time.
Keep going, take heart, and be blessed in the in-between.
Cover image by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash
Image by Jason Leung on Unsplash
Image by Mark Duffel on Unsplash