“Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master’s Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work” (James 5:7)
Waiting – I was never very good at that. Learning to cook – that taught me much about timing – and that sometimes you just cannot jump to the end. The middle part, the rising part – it all fails without that.
My tomatoes and zinnia’s are like that, too – the inbetween the seed-planting and harvesting – the waiting inbetween, well – you really cannot rush it.
Parenting is like that, too. There comes a waiting inbetween, where you know you planted all the right seeds in the right ways – 4 square-kind-of-planting. Some seeds, though, require longer in-between, some shorter – but the waiting – for the harvest – oh, sometimes that is hard.
“Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong” (James 5:8).
The Father, He wants us to be patient like the Father.
Patient: “Persevering; constant in pursuit or exertion; calmly diligent” (Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary)
Not giving up hope
:. . . .waiting or expecting with calmness or without discontent” ((Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary)
How are you expecting? “Are you waiting without discontent? That in-between place can get mighty uncomfortable. You might not like the present state of the inbetween. Are you finger-drumming, surly-spirited, glass-half-empty, sack-clothe moaning waiting through the in-between?
Living in the inbetween – where there is no evidence of a good harvest, no evidence of the good things you planted – oh, that is hard.
How are you going to spend all that inbetween? Are you speaking hope? Walking faith? Smelling like Christ?
“Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life” (2 Cor 2:15)
Maybe how you spend the inbetween time is like the Miracle Grow to your tomatoes and zinnias?
Maybe it is how we live in the inbetween that is really the important part – the hope and faith living.
“The Master could arrive at any time. Friends, don’t complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know. The Judge is standing just around the corner” (James 5:8-9)
I’ve had recipes fail. My garden struggled this year. The potting shed of raising children sometimes looks more like the corn fields through Kentucky this year.
I know what I planted, though. I know the resilience of God’s plan.
Sometimes I just need friends to listen to the tale, to encourage through prayer, to see the hope of God’s plan for harvest , not to complain, not to commiserate, not to grind up the seed through a faithless pestle of words that just tear up, not hope-up.
“Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God” (James 5:10)
God shows us over and over again in the bible – stories of hope fulfilled, God’s promises ful-filled, and in Hebrews 11 – we learn of hope continued to the other side for things promised but not seen here, today, right now. Those stories are God saying that our challenges are no surprise to Him, that He is our Champion – that He will bring us through – we just need to learn to believe Him in the in-between.
What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail“(James 5:7-11)
He wants me to live the in-between as though matters have been taken care of, as though the harvest is assured – and so my words and the words of those around me will be hope and faith words, cheering words, sometimes through tears and pain – but words of assurance of a harvest bountiful, complete. They will have a sweet aroma.
Last night, I saw gaggles and gaggles of geese flying, celebrated a wedding in the midst of precious family, and as I walked grandbaby girl around, I found more acorns. Instead of 5, I picked up 7 – 7 seeds symbolizing 7 hope and faith potting-shed projects.
The acorns remind to live like I believe in the inbetween.
701) The moment, when frustration in the challenge overwhelms and I give it to God, firmly placing it all in His capable hands, trusting Him, knowing He is not surprised and He can handle the challenge much better than I can.
702) Italian Chamber music that soothes frayed nerves
703) Coffee in the morning with Italian Sweet Cream
704) I shabby chiced an old picture frame and put it on my ground-floor window at work – and every once in a while, I find blessing in what passes through my frame – students rushing to class, an evolving garden, rain spilling onto everything, a squirrel not quite hopping, not quite leaping but a leisurely in-between.
705) Coolness, the autumn kind. I know God is beside me all the time, but I always feel Him more – the clouds pull closer to where I am, the blue seems cheerier, somewhat relieved, and the coolness, it touches my cheek – and it all feels like God walking beside me.
706) Being together with all my boys for a wedding
707) Watching my soldier son walk the grandmother of the groom down the aisle, seeing his slow, comfortable smile spread across his face.
708) 4 pairs of shoes to find instead of 6, 4 belts, 4 pressured shirts and pants, 4 ties – all instead of 6 – God whispering, things are moving along as they ought.
709) Shoes outgrown and shoes still to fill – the blessing of hand-me-downs – a kind of experience that reminds me I can handle the challenges that come in those size shoes – because God has shown me He can handle it.
710) Sharing wedding tables with friend’s mothers who are now friends, too.
711) A grandfather’s prayer for his grandson marrying, filled with hope and faith
712) The blessing of beautiful places to celebrate important moments
713) Hugs from people you love.
714) Gaggles of geese, at least 7, flying across the evening sky as I carried grand-baby girl – and we both watched in delight.
715) 7 acorns on the ground, symbolizing these boys of mine, a daughter-in-law and now a granddaughter.
716) Lidia’s message at her blog, Crown of Beauty, about being an ambassador of love in the midst of unlovely situations.
717) Post-it notes reminding me of prayer requests
718) The energy that comes with feeling better
719) Sitting over a dinner table with my mother one evening – time to talk, time to laugh, time to be together
720) Sitting over a breakfast table with my aunt one morning, time to talk, time to laugh, time to be together
721) Just knowing that sometimes people are cheering you on, have got your back – and know your heart is worthy of that kind of support.
722) The littlest one, getting ready to turn 12 on the first day of fall, wanting me to sing him to sleep.
723) Knowing that sometimes, someone asking me to make a sandwich or fill up a plate, sometimes it is just someone really asking for an Acts of Service love language hug – and which it doesn’t sound like a hug or feel like a hug – it can be translated into a hug.
724) Getting ready for tomorrow, if I think of all the schedules, all the things that want to stress me out – and the list starts piling up, the Father, He tells me to set the pile down – to just step into tomorrow – to take the week just one day, or a half a day or a quarter day at a time, to not give up, to respond in love, hold on to Him and He will take me through to the end of it all.