It was mid-April and our stately October Glory still stood as bare and naked as the day I was born. I was beside myself: Was this magnificent maple tree—that was indeed nothing short of glorious in the fall—now dead? Several times a day I would pass by the window that framed her majestic form and whisper a prayer, “O Lord, if it be your will (how could it not?), save this beautiful tree.”
I just couldn’t understand what might have happened to her. Our mild Dallas winter (that was more like an extended fall punctuated with a few summer-like days) had gently coaxed lush green leaves from the branches of all the trees around our home and in our neighborhood —in early March! Everywhere I looked, spring was bursting forth. But not my October Glory. She sat dormant. What was she waiting for?
Come to find out, she was waiting on winter. Bless her heart! (That’s what we say about everything in Texas from decaying plant life to women who have issues that we don’t— or won’t admit to having.) Our October Glory was waiting for it to get cold!
A few days after a freak, late spring cold front, her first leaves peeked out. Steve called me to the window to behold the tiny, tender shoots beginning to appear and said, “Look. She’s okay. There’s a lot going on in there. You just have to be patient.” My mind wondered to all the times I have fretted over things —like this tree leafing out— that were out of my purview but, of course, were completely within God’s. Because I’m rather fond of instant gratification and complete clarity, it’s really hard for me to sit and wait, while God is doing his “God thing”.
What about you? Are you, or someone you love, desperately waiting for renewed health? Are you losing hope that the promotion or job offer will ever materialize? Are you anxiously awaiting a relationship to heal? An addiction to end? A pregnancy to occur? A depression to lift? A child to return? Financial relief? Waiting is hard—even when we have faith—because during the latent period between crisis and resolution, we rarely get to see the miracle while it’s in the making.
This morning our October Glory stands completely outfitted in her new spring attire. She will provide a soothing green shade during our hot summer and will burst forth with orange leaves so brilliant they will nearly put your eyes out come early December. I don’t care what she’s called, she’s always had a mind of her own — and a timetable, like everything else—directed by God.
Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and prayerful always. — Romans 12:12
Hang on. You can’t see it but the miracle is in the works.