If you look out the (virtual) window here at The Faith Cafe, you can see the leaves starting to change colour on the trees outside.
The tops of the maple trees are starting to blush with red. There’s a hint of yellow among the linden leaves. And the sumacs are beginning to fire up in vivid shades of orange.
This change creeps in gradually, however. At first, you barely notice fall coming on. Weeks from now, though, the trees will be ablaze in vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds. The difference from how they look today will be dramatic.
Oftentimes, I think this is the way God works in our lives.
He is slowly but surely leading us through a process of change and sanctification.
We may not notice that aspects of our character are being transformed, because the change is so gradual. One day, however, you look up and realize how far you’ve come and what amazing things God has done in your life.
It’s sort of like the change that happens as we age. We don’t notice our children or parents getting older on a day-to-day basis. One day, however, you realize that your son is now taller than you are, or that your parents have gone grey!
The change has been just as sure, but it was so gradual that we hardly knew it was happening.
Think of Joseph in the Old Testament. The years in exile passed slowly for him. It was over a dozen years from when he was sold into slavery by his brothers until he became prime minister of Egypt. And almost another decade until he was reconciled to his family again.
At the time, Joseph couldn’t see the miracle that God was working in his life, because it took so long to set up. In Joseph’s life, and often in our own, God is playing a long game.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
At other times, God works on a more accelerated timetable, like a sudden snowfall.
If you live in a region that gets snow, you’ll know that sometimes you go to bed with the ground bare and the next morning wake up to find several inches (or feet!) of snow blanketing everything in sight.
The change to the landscape has been striking and rapid. And sometimes God works that way in our lives, too.
Think of the accounts in the Bible of sudden healings or transformations.
Much of the time, these miracles happened in a span of moments. A person was blind one minute, and before they knew it their sight was restored. Hearing was instantaneously restored to the deaf. The lame could suddenly walk again.
Perhaps God has operated in this way for you. Maybe God brought the right person into your life, and overnight your life changed. It could be that He arranged the right circumstances and connections for your career to suddenly flourish. Or perhaps He gave you an immediate answer or healing in response to prayer.
God still chooses to work in this fashion at times, but whether He works slowly or quickly, we can be sure that He is bringing about transformation in our lives.
“Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:13-14)
Our job is to wait patiently for Him in faith. Trust that your loving Heavenly Father has good things in store for you. Whether they happen quickly or slowly, believe that they are on their way!
© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.