This summer felt hotter and longer and more unbearable than summers past. I could blame global warming for my increased heat exhaustion, but that wouldn't really be fair to nature. All summer I kept thinking, it's only 65 degrees in Dublin today. The heat was taunting me. It was a physical manifestation of the climate of my soul: oppressive, scorching heat that left me dried out, weary, and in desperate need of some rain.
When it's over 95 degrees for two months straight, cooler weather seems impossible. You begin to doubt that cooler days ever even occurred. The heat lays waste to everything. Grass dies. Flowers wilt. Lakes evaporate. Even the asphalt seems to melt. Waiting for God's timing can have the same affect. Doubt creeps in. Frustration rises up. And slowly things begin to die. Ambition withers. Pride burns. Selfishness dries and cracks.
And then, like every time before, the season changes.
It happened this weekend. I was driving to Arkansas in the hopes of opening some doors for Dublin. I was tired of the heat and tired of the waiting, wondering if it would ever end. It had been 100 degrees a few days earlier. Not on Saturday. Saturday was only 75 degrees, cool and refreshing. The temperature spawned a dangerous thought, maybe summer is almost over, maybe the end is in sight. But is it here to stay? Will the relief last, or is the weather teasing?
And what about the waiting? Will it go out with the heat?
I had a coffee meeting with a preacher friend of mine in Little Rock. I was encouraged by his enthusiasm for our vision and his urgency to explore the possibility of a partnership between our team and his church. On October 10th I will be presenting myself, the team, and the work in Dublin to a larger gathering of the church family. Another dangerous thought, maybe the waiting is almost over, maybe the end is in sight.
I am trying to remain cautiously optimistic about October 10th. I don't want to set myself up for another disappointing let down. Instead, I am delighting in this changing of the seasons. I am delighting in the cooler weather, in the encouragement of a friend, and in the opportunity to share this work that God is refining within me. I am finding peace in the assurance that God's provision is not mine to achieve, it is His to bestow. And when I take God out of this limiting realm of time, and see Him in His eternity, I realize that I have already been given everything that has been promised. So I will rest in the waiting. It's only a season.