Gods faithfulness isn’t always seen through blooming flowers and prayers being tangibly answered. Sometimes we say a prayer, plant a seed and day after day see no movement. We water it and we go back and look for further instructions- wondering if we are doing something wrong.
When we don’t see the immediate growth of the prayers planted, it is easy to get discouraged. We’ve grown accustomed to a world where with one click we can get things delivered the next day. We see something we want and almost magically it appears on our porch. There is no waiting period, no anticipation, and I think sometimes we begin to expect that sort of efficiency and immediacy in other parts of our lives. Sometimes though, in the waiting is when the most growth is happening. When we can’t see it, God is tending to that whispered prayer, he is growing roots under the soil and he is preparing it for what is to come.
Several years ago, God told me I was going to marry a man who I just met. It was something that felt divine but contradicted with where I was at in life. I wasn’t ready to date, he had a girlfriend, and I was about to leave the states to pursue my desire for missions. Little did I know, he had felt the same thing from God.
I remember writing a prayer in my journal, telling God that if that really was his desire, he would bring it into fruition. I even told one of my friends right before leaving South Africa that I was sure I was supposed to marry him. I couldn’t explain it but in my heart just knew.
Fast forward, a year later I’m back from missions for good and his previous relationship had ended, and things fell into place. My immediate reaction was to think my prayer was answered, this is it. Both of us thought we would date for a little while , get engaged and be married within a year.
Turns out, God had different plans. After a few months together we broke up. I remember going to God confused, I had prayed for something and had faith in what I felt he told me. I felt let down and unsure. Yet every time I went to God, I felt like he told me that I was going to marry him and to hold onto his faithfulness. A lot of people around me thought I needed to let go of the idea, to chalk it up to hearing God wrong and move on. There were times when I doubted it, but it truly was something that felt so deeply rooted in my heart and I trusted God would bring it to fruition.
6 months later brought us back together, but the road was bumpy. It felt like we were trying to build a house with no instruction manual and a skeleton crew to work with. I was going through counseling and breaking down walls in order to rebuild my identity. It felt like every few weeks we would see a lot of progress but then suddenly a tornado of emotions would tear through and break down what we had built. Ricky was rediscovering and growing roots in his. Amidst this we were trying to build a bridge between all the differences in our upbringings- learning and discovering new things constantly.
The whole time I felt God told me to hold onto his word and to pray for what He had told me .There were nights where I sat frustrated, staring at a seed that wasn’t bearing the fruit I expected. I didn’t know why things felt hard and why we couldn’t just move forward and get married. I wanted the instant gratification of a blooming plant, I was tired of putting in all the work.
Yet, as I sit here writing this as a married woman, I can tell you that all along our journey God was answering both of our prayers and preparing for that flower to bloom.
He was tending to the soil of our hearts. He was preparing us both for a marriage that would have sturdy foundations and roots that had depth.
He was healing both of us and he knew when things would be right. Sitting here today, we can see the flower that has bloomed because God waited and we trusted.
God was faithful to not just answer our prayers immediately, but to tend to the seed day after day until he knew it was ready. There was so may times I wanted to give up on the process, I wanted things to be easy and wanted to force a flower to grow. I was tired of all the tears and emotionally felt like I had very little to give, counseling and working through trauma was hard work.
Looking back, I am so thankful that God took us on this journey, waiting to get married and doing things his way has brought blessing and delight in ways we didn’t know was possible. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean it was easy, it was hard as hell a lot of days, but it was worth it.
Look for his faithfulness where you are. Perhaps he is doing something in your season of waiting that is preparing you and setting you up for what is to come.
Look for his faithfulness in the hard and in the mundane. In the big and small moments his faithfulness can be seen. He is in the process. Our faith isn’t in what the seed can become but in God as the one who works miracles and whose love never fails.
For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7