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Instant Results


Instant breakfast. Instant life.

Anything easy cuz that's what we like.

Fast food places and banks with no lines.

Anything easy, that'll do fine.

Wendy and Mary  

We Americans live in an instant world. And we've come to expect instant results, whether we're starting a new weight loss plan, exercise program or just about anything else in life that takes time and effort. We want change and we want it now.

But, it’s not just a younger figure or a cup of coffee that we want in an instant, we kind of want our faith walk to be instant, too. My old Forsythia reminded me of this just this spring.

It started three years ago after my Forsythia had produced less than lackluster blooms for several springs. Following a consult with a Master Gardener, I began pruning out a third of the old growth in hopes of changing that. But, despite all of my efforts, the next spring showed little if any change. So, I went back to work and lopped out another third of the original branches at the root. But, once again, when the following spring came round there were hardly any blooms.

What I did spy that second year was some new growth popping up from the ground and that encouraged me enough not to give up hope and chop it all out. Instead, I pulled out my handy dandy saw and cut away the last of the old growth.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect this year. In fact, I tried hard not to have any expectations at all. But, when warmer temps finally melted the last of the lingering snow in my backyard, curiosity got the best of me, and I trudged out to inspect the branches. And I couldn’t believe my eyes! Every single stem was loaded with buds.

Three long years of tangling with that old Forsythia has finally paid off. I am now enjoying an explosion of yellow. But, it sure took a lot longer than I had anticipated!

What I had really wanted to see that very first year were results. I wanted some tangible proof that all of my scratches and sore muscles were worth it. Waiting a whole year felt like an eternity. But, having to wait three long years seemed nearly unbearable, especially since I still wasn't assured that there would be any more blooms in the future.

Our faith walk can feel frustratingly similar sometimes.

We bring our hopes, concerns and our needs to God expecting to receive a tangible, timely response. But then nothing seems to happen. So, we move in the direction we think He is guiding us in, but, little changes. Months, perhaps years go by. We seek outside help. We pray some more. And we take whatever steps seem necessary, but again, no evidence of an answer appears.  

Then, just about the time we want to give up hope, we begin to sense little buds of growth popping up in us. Buds that encourage us to keep on trusting God's timing whether we see results or not.

Little-by-little we learn to relinquish our expectations of how or when or if God will move. And then it happens. An answer comes...often in completely unexpected ways. Sometimes far and above what we could have dreamed for ourselves. 

As much as we would love an instant response to our prayers, our Father knows that an instant answer isn't always the best faith-strengthener. Neither is it the best teacher of patience and trust. And that is what is most important to His heart. 

Instant Christian changed overnight.

Anything easy cuz that's what we like.

Help me grow Lord. Show me how.

Give me the patience. I want it now.

Wendy and Mary



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Comments 1

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Barbara on Monday, 12 May 2014 22:44

Your Forsythia is a perfect "object lesson" for patience. Thanks for this sweet post!

Your Forsythia is a perfect "object lesson" for patience. Thanks for this sweet post!

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