Waiting on God’s Timing

God’s colour palette is awesome! It’s a little too early to see gorgeous fall shades developing, but even without them there is so much beauty in nature. My camera and I are always trying to capture it, but can never quite do it justice.

There is a huge Ponderosa pine tree – also known as a Bull pine — just outside the backyard fence at my daughter’s home. Its six-inch long clusters of needles are a rich forest green and the bark is cinnamon red. It’s impressive, but my favourite tree here is on the other side of the yard… a Colorado blue spruce.

Its needles are much shorter, its cones smaller, but the silvery blue colour is outstanding.

I noticed the abundance of cones on the top new growth and was reminded of nature’s impeccable timing. The cycle of growth is amazing, from seed to plant to flower to seed.

As part of God’s creation, of course it isn’t nature’s timing at all, but His. I marvel, for instance, at how the pears ripen and suddenly know when it’s time to drop. The first one was taken from the pear tree here just yesterday, after this photo was taken.

On Day #4 of Jody Hedlund’s “Fun Secrets Blog Tour” she mentions a particularly difficult time in her life when her twin daughters were born prematurely, and I was reminded of when I had two miscarriages. I was devastated and wondered if there would ever be a sibling for our wonderful wee son. Later there was… in fact, two equally wonderful daughters arrived, and viewed in retrospect, God’s timing turned out to be much better than what I desired.

In the business of book publication timing is a huge factor. It takes time to write a book, to revise and edit. The submission process takes time – sometimes years of unsuccessful attempts – and it can be disheartening.

Faith in God’s timing implies trust in God. Knowing that His will for us is always in our best interest should make waiting for anything easier, but often we chafe because we lack patience.

What makes you impatient or restless? How do you deal with it?

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“Thus says the Lord, In an acceptable and favorable time
I have heard and answered you
and in a day of salvation I have helped you;
and I will preserve you…”

 Isaiah 49: 8a

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“For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment];
it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it,
because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.” 

Habakkuk 2: 3

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Learning patience by birdwatching

(Click to enlarge photos)

Black caps and white cheeks flash past my windows as the chickadees flit to and from the birdfeeder, interspersed with the occasional nuthatch. They dart in to snatch a morsel, then swivel away on their rapid return to the trees.

I sit with camera in hand and try to catch a photo, but on the automatic setting and without my tripod it’s almost impossible. These tiny fliers are constantly on the move and most of the images show the birdfeeder, but not the birds. Timing is everything!

The stellar jays and juncos are a little more cooperative, sometimes stopping briefly on the railing as they munch a mouthful.

Sparrows and varied thrush have a different mealtime technique altogether, choosing to clean up leftover seeds from the deck rather than hover airborne. The different species often arrive at the same time, but take turns, obeying an invisible pecking order as they dart in for their meal.

There is so much I can learn about God’s care from watching the birds. They may seem like insignificant creatures with very basic needs yet God provides for them, although they must work industriously to take advantage of those provisions.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.” [Luke 12:6 NIV]

Thinking of the earlier “timing is everything” comment, there’s a writing application here, too. When years of writing, revising and querying make us question our publishing dreams, it is encouraging to remember that patience coupled with vigilance and effort is important, and that “success comes when preparation meets opportunity.” [Henry Hartman]

To expect success in this particular challenge, I think I’d better go find my tripod!

What other lessons could we learn from God’s many creatures?

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Patience may be a virtue, but….

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It was nearing dinnertime, at least for our Labrador. Hubby and I wanted to get the Christmas tree up first, so we ignored the blatant hints. Tynan’s a patient dog and finally lay down to wait.

 

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That was hard to ignore! As soon as the tree was secure and before any decorating was begun, his patience was rewarded with his nightly bowl of kibble. Afterwards, in the first bin of ornaments, a bag of old Christmas dog toys was unearthed and he was ecstatic. Dinner and long lost stuffies! Life was good.

Patience may be considered a virtue, but passive patience doesn’t achieve much.  It needs to be accompanied by some kind of purposeful action. If Tynan had settled into an unobtrusive corner to wait, he might be waiting still. Instead, while he didn’t beg, agitate or annoy, he made his presence something we couldn’t ignore for very long. He was just too appealing.

We aspiring authors could learn a lesson from him.

What do you do while you wait for a response to your query letters or submissions?

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