I saw this bird at the feeder today.
Well, not this bird, exactly. But one that looked a lot like it.
I watched him for a minute while God reminded me of a verse I read earlier this month.
The verse is in Habakkuk, near the end of the Old Testament. The book of Habakkuk records not just one prophet’s struggling with God’s sovereignty and timing, but also God’s assurance to that prophet of His faithfulness to do what He said He would do: punish the evildoers and rescue His people from sin. This verse jumped off the page at me a few weeks ago, and I’ve been thinking on it in light of my journey to a healthy weight.
When I saw this bird today, I realized that this particular verse shouts a larger promise than just rescue and weight loss. This verse invites us to join God in anticipating the beauty and waiting through the blossoming. Sometimes, if we slant our heads just right, our hearts see the completed form beyond the becoming form that’s right in front of us.
It’s more difficult to see that completeness if we’re the one who’s becoming.
After all, we know that these chicks
will in time be beautiful red Northern Cardinals like these birds.
That’s the way God planned it.
“But these things I [the LORD] plan won’t happen right away.
Slowly, steadily, surely,
the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow, wait patiently,
for it will surely take place.
It will not be delayed.”
Habakkuk 2:3, NLT
Isn’t that a great promise? “Slowly, steadily, surely” echoes in my heart. “Wait patiently” feels like a command almost. Really, though, what other choice do we have? It’s not like we can tweak God’s plans or rearrange God’s timing. Who else can take all this awkwardness and turn it into beauty so brilliant, it reflects His glory?
I whispered to the fledgling at the feeder today, “Just wait. You’ll see. The becoming won’t last forever. You won’t believe how beautiful you’ll be. You just wait. It’ll be more glorious than you could ever imagine.”
How many times I’ve said to my girl, when she stumbles in social scenes and struggles with puberty, when she’s frustrated and impatient with herself, ”Just wait. You’ll see.” I can see God’s plan for her, the beautiful, artistic, compassionate, tender-hearted woman of God that she is becoming. Yet how many times I get stuck in my fledgling-ness and lose sight of His plan for me. How often I forget—or worse, discount—the beautiful, artistic, compassionate, tender-hearted woman of God I am becoming. I believe His promises for everyone else, yet I struggle to count on them for myself.
Slowly, steadily, surely,
Yahweh—the LORD—will complete His plan for all of us.
Learning to wait patiently,