“Where are the girls?” I had a full grocery cart, Judson was sandwiched in the front between Kale and flour, and I was eagerly ready to leave. I quickly glanced behind me and around the cash register until I spotted my daughters thumbing through seed packets five yards or so away at the front of the store. “Come on, girls, put those away, and let’s go,” I called, mildly exasperated. Kara said,”Hey, Mom look, here are watermelon seeds. Can we plant them?!” I told her, “No. It is in the middle of winter and they won’t grow right now. Besides, it takes several months before they mature .” I think she understood. Analise asked if we could grow pumpkins instead. Sigh. “Okay, seed packets away. On we go.”
There are moments in life when we feel ready. We work hard. We pray even harder. We can almost see, taste, and touch the met desire. But we are left wanting and waiting. Our hearts are confident soldiers, but like watermelons in winter, we are not ready. We tell God, “But I am ready! I am qualified- you make be able. I know what to do and what not to do. I have walked this far already. Is not NOW the time, God?!”
So we wait.
I find it interesting how my generation and the younger millennials are eager to arrive. There is this drive for the immediate. When generations before us did not expect to have success stories from their twenties, but were glad to provide for their families and make investments beyond themselves, today in our globally connected world the sky’s the limit. Go big or go home…and preferably do so by the age of thirty.
We want watermelons in winter. We want to harvest what has not matured. So what do we do? We anxiously stammer rushing around like field mice looking for dinner. We want the immediate instead of the investment. Because it is easier that way. We want to put the cart before the horse. Because we want to tell our stories before we have lived them.
But God is never in a rush. He never paces to and fro wondering what He’s going to do next, biting His nails in anxious confusion. Our times are in His hands (Psalm 31:15) and it is not for us to know the times that the Father has set by His own authority (Acts 1:7). We may think we know the Father’s will for our lives, but we really don’t know the specifics. We have a general sense of God’s will as outlined in His Word, but we cannot presume to know where we will live, what our job will be, whom we will marry, what circumstances will befall us, or how we will pass from this life into the next. So we trust Him. We trust the One who is before all things and in whom all things hold together (Colossians 1:17). And we wait for Him alone.
Waiting is hard. But, it is in the waiting where we find the ripening. We are not ready yet. Our hearts are not yet fully transformed. We are being renewed day by day. Whatever we are praying for, waiting for, any earthly desire, God can bring it to pass in His timing, but even in this we are not complete. Nothing we ask of God will complete us. Only He can do that.
“And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:4).
Tell the stories, but don’t tell them too soon. Live them first. Live them waiting, watching, learning, and maturing as God sanctifies us. Let’s stop looking for watermelons in winter, and let’s start believing that He who began a good work in us will bring it to completion as only He can.