We live in a culture of immediacy. We want what we want and we want it now.
Immediacy is king, especially to the younger generation. We aren’t used to waiting for the delivery. Longevity isn’t in our vocabulary but most of the compelling things we encounter in our lives took tremendous amounts of time.
Good things take time. Great things take a long time.
A friend of mine once told me this story . . .
There once was a king who didn’t believe in miracles. One day, while he was seated in a garden, one of his closest counselors began speaking of the wonderful works of God. He went on and on about how God was constantly at work—in the little things and the big.
Initially the king listened politely. Finally, however, he had had enough. “Show me a sign,” said the king, “and I will believe.”
The sage thought for a moment. He then pulled something out of his pocket.
“Here are four acorns,” said the counselor. “Please, your Majesty, plant them in the ground. When you are finished, would you stoop down for a moment and look into this clear pool of water?”
The king did so.
“Now,” said the sage, “look up.” The king looked up and saw four enormous oak trees where he had planted the acorns.
“Wonderful!” the king exclaimed, “this is indeed a miracle—the work of God.”
“How long were you looking into the water?” asked the sage.
“Only a second,” said the king.”
“Eighty years have passed as a second,” said the counselor.
Skeptically, the king looked at his garments; they were threadbare. He then looked at his reflection in the water; he had become an old man. His skin was wrinkled and his beard was white.
“There is no miracle here, then,” he said angrily.
“Yes,” said the sage, “but it is God’s work nonetheless, whether he did it in one second or in eighty years.”
The miracle of longevity is often negated, undervalued, and ignored. But, if you really want to see a sign that God is at work look at the things in your life that took time, effort, and work. Don’t always look to the immediate for the glory of the Lord.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
What fruit have you seen in your life that took long amounts of time to produce?