First, the forsythia exploded in our area where we lived — those little yellow flowers that announced spring was finally springing. Then the dogwood explosion detonated. It was really hard to be in a bad mood when those beautiful pink and white blossoms suddenly appeared everywhere. Actually, the word "suddenly" needs a little work. The coming of the forsythia and the dogwood, and all the other stars of the Spring Extravaganza; they've been getting ready to happen for a long time. We can't see it, but there's been this invisible process of nourishing and growth, and those nubby little buds start to peek out. And then, one day you go down the street and it's blazing with color that wasn't even there the day before. But sudden? Not really.
You might be waiting for spring in some part of your life right now. But things right now still appear to be pretty brown and lifeless.
We’re taking a look in God’s Word at Mark 4:26-29. You might need that today. It's an important description of the processes of God; processes that are probably at work right now in those very areas of your life that seem like they will never see spring. Here's what God says, "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain; first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come."
Okay, here's how God operates: First, there's the seed of what He wants to do, placed in the ground by faith. And then, as far as we can see, nothing is happening. Just ask any farmer. But there is, in fact, invisible growth going on the whole time. It would be a very damaging mistake to keep digging up that seed — "I have to see if anything is happening here." You're going to ruin it that way. The invisible growing time is then followed by some first signs of life. And ultimately, the long-awaited crop appears ... but not really suddenly. Just like those beautiful flowers of spring.
Often when God is answering our prayer or preparing a great work, it looks for a long time as if nothing is happening. You might need to remember that right now. Think about what you've worked so hard for, prayed so hard for, and there's little or no visible result. A family member or friend you've tried to reach; or who's spiritually wandering. Maybe it's a medical, financial or spiritual breakthrough you need, or just a long-standing need of some other kind in your life. Some days it looks as if the prayer, the cry, the dream of your heart will never happen. And you feel like asking, as Mary and Martha must have asked when Jesus did not arrive in time to heal their dying brother Lazarus, "Where are You, Lord?" He would answer quietly and invisibly, "I'm preparing the answer." By the way, Mary and Martha got more than they could have ever dreamed. They didn't get a healing — they got a resurrection!
So, don't give up now, don't panic, don't try to figure out your own solution, don't push too hard, or don't keep digging up the seed. Slowly, but surely, the processes of God will blossom and you will reap what you have sown. Just remain faithful in the part He's asked you to play.
Just because you can't see God working doesn't mean He isn't working. Just think of all those spectacular spring blossoms. They were a long time in coming, but they came. And so will your spring.
© Ronald P. Hutchcraft 2021