The tulips took their time this year.Weather conditions caused the tulips in Washington’s Skagit Valley to bloom a bit later than some years. Some businesses in the area depend heavily on the economic boom that comes from people pouring into the valley to see the beautiful tulips. Much planning and preparation goes into the festival, but a little bit of helpless dependency remains. The tulips bloom when they bloom.
Waiting isn’t easy. We have invented many devices to try to speed things up. We have grown accustomed to getting things right now. Grumbling starts if we are forced to wait ten seconds for a web page to load. Waiting more than a day for a package to arrive feels like an eternity. But some things, like tulips blooming, can’t be sped up. As much as we don’t like to do it, sometimes we have to wait.
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7). The Creator of the tulips often works like the tulips. He might answer one prayer quickly. Another time the answer we long for seems to take forever. God’s Word is planted in one life and growth is seen right away. In other people the growth might be far more gradual.
We can rest in God’s promises. We can be still. We can be at peace. Be patient and not anxious. God is never slow. He always does His work at the best time and in the best way.
I’m glad the people at the fields didn’t give up on the tulips and try to pull the flowers out of the ground. We would have missed out on a lot of beauty. When we lose patience and give up waiting on God, we miss out on seeing Him do beautiful work.
The prophet Jeremiah did not see much beauty around him. He saw the ugliness of sin as people ignored God and suffered terrible consequences because of it. In the midst of it, though, he trusted it was good to wait on the Lord. “I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (Lamentations 3:24-26).