Remembering the words of the prophet Habakkuk-'how long, Lord, must I call out for help, but You do not listen'. David, in Psalm 13 asks the Lord the same...How long oh Lord. Will You hide your face from me, will You forget me?
Have you been there? Have you cried out to the Lord over and over again and yet saw no change in the circumstance and began to feel that God is not listening? If we are honest, I think most of us have been or even are in that place right now.
It seems my last 4 or so posts have been about winter passing and the expectation of Spring. The long dreary Winter will give way to the beauty and the sweet aroma of Spring. Yet, there are times that Spring is delayed and we cannot understand why. Here is a picture a friend posted yesterday. It is just an hour from us. Keep in mind it was May 24th when this photo was taken.
It would not be so this May. For whatever reason, Spring has been delayed. Oh, there were glimpses of it, days the windows and doors were wide open, laundry was seen hung out in every yard and terrace. Boots, heavy coats and sweaters were carefully packed away not anticipating to be needed for another 6 months or so. But, yesterday, the heavy coat was worn and the winter boots yanked out of their resting place to be put to use yet again.
There came a time yesterday in the midst of begrudging these cold temperatures, walking carefully as to avoid puddle after puddle, watching the downcast faces of a people who had not expected to be braving this kind of weather at the end of May, for an instant I thought "Lord, are You speaking to me through this storm? Are the winds and the rain for me? Did You in Your tenderness allow Spring to be delayed so that You could speak to my heart?" It was as if for a moment, the clouds were lifted up and the light of His glory shone upon my heart. 'But Lord,' my desperate heart cried, 'it's supposed to be Spring. The calendar even says it is supposed to be Spring. We endured the Winter and anticipated Spring. You gave us glimpses of Spring but as quickly as it came You took it away. It's not just raining, it is pouring, it is cold and dreary. Why, oh why aren't You letting Spring come? Why are You seeming to be messing with nature and the way that things are supposed to be? Why God, why????" And I believe that our intimate God, our gracious and patient King, sat and listened and He had a bottle for every tear that was falling and He, in a way that only He can, wrapped me in His arms and let me know it was going to be ok.
He reminded me that it indeed rains on the just and the unjust. That He does not look at things the way man looks at them. His ways are different than ours, His thoughts higher.
This morning when I awoke, the skies were blue. By the time I sat to write this, grey covered the skies, the cats came running in to seek shelter as the sound of thunder echoed in the background, and once again, the heavy rains came down. Perhaps with sadness, some will look after the rains and see their crop destroyed, their planters overturned and flower petals tossed violently across the lawn. All of their hard work seemingly to no avail. 'Why bother?', some may ask. Perhaps they will give up and stop planting. Perhaps they will become so discouraged and think gardening or farming isn't for them. But, we know that we will sweep up the mess, salvage what is left to be salvaged and start again to dig, to plow, to plant to water. Why? Because that is what the Lord tells us to do. The labor and obedience is up to us. The harvest is up to Him. And, one day, we will reap. It may not be here in the physical life. We may never be able to enjoy a harvest this side of Heaven. But, we are promised in His Word that we will indeed reap if we faint not.
Spring may be delayed, but our God is never delayed. He makes ALL things beautiful in His time!